Phoenix City Light Rail Party

The City of Phoenix held their “half way” completion party for the Phoenix City Light Rail Party Saturday morning at 7 a.m.

Your first question, of course, is why through a party so early in the morning? That’s an easy one… at 7 a.m. it’s reasonably warm (as opposed to unbearably hot) in the desert southwest! So when the City of Phoenix decides to throw a Light Rail party in the middle of the summer, they do it at 7 a.m.

Your next question is: what was the purpose of the party? The City of Phoenix is working on a 3-1/2 mile extension to the Light Rail, and Saturday marked the half way point in construction.

This construction, which is through an older part of town, is hindered by lack of locational maps of things like gas lines, electric lines, water lines, sewer pipes and phone lines. That means, even though there is no doubt that the lines and pipes are there somewhere, they have no idea where they are! So they’re tearing up 3-1/2 miles of street, replacing all of the old lines and pipes, replacing the asphalt, ripping up an additional 3-4 lanes for additional traffic, and then putting down the electricity and the track. Whew! It’s a lot of work!

What did they do at the party this morning? They completed laying the first a piece of track!

The fun part was, it wasn’t the workers doing the labor, but the “desk guys” …the engineers and planners (the guys who know absolutely nothing about concrete!!)

<img src="image.gif" alt="Light Rail Party" />

This is a picture of the men pouring the concrete on the last piece of rail. We drove by yesterday and saw that the rail itself had already been installed, but today they finished the project by topping it off with concrete. I would have loved to have put my initial in that concrete!

The construction crew has a mascot. She helps them with their daily projects. Here’s a picture of the Light Rail mascot. Can you see her sitting on the ice chest? She has a hard hat and a big grin!

<img src="image.gif" alt="This is the Light Rail Mascot" />

We have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people who work on the Light Rail project. Many of them come into our flower shop. They tell us updates, give us maps, help us with road closures, and generally offer any assistance they can to the 300+ businesses affected by the construction of the Light Rail.

Here are a couple pictures of people we know from the Light Rail Project.

First is Jorge, the Business Assistance Coordinator for the Light Rail. I would say Jorge is the all around go to guy when there’s anything going on with the Light Rail. He answers all of our questions, bring us flyers and calendars, sends out emails, and generally helps facilitate anything he can between the businesses and the project. Jorge always has a smile on his face and a keen ear for listening to everything that is happening on the project.

The other gentleman is Rich, the man in charge of all of the city street closures for the entire City of Phoenix. The Light Rail construction is one of his many projects, and this one changes from day to day. Imagine having to know where the workers will be on any given day, and then arranging for traffic to flow in all directions and still guarantee the safety of the workers. That’s his job.

<img src="image.gif" alt="Jo" />  <img src="image.gif" alt="This is Rich" />

I took this picture of Pamela and she took the picture of me.

Behind us you can see palm trees (they look like balloons!) and the track.

<img src="image.gif" alt="Pamela at the light rail party" />  <img src="image.gif" alt="Tina at the Light Rail Party" />

 

Our friend Gail, who lives a few houses from the light rail construction, brought Clark to the party this morning. Clark is a 150 pound Great Dane, one of the nicest dogs I’ve ever met. Gail, Clark, Abbie and I go to the doggie park together, so I know what type of dog Clark is. Among his talent is being a therapy dog at John C Lincoln Hospital. You can see him on the very right on the picture of me, and here’s a great picture of Gail and Clark taken just a few days ago at a summer school class.

<img src="image.gif" alt="This is Clark" />

What was missing at this party? They had cookies. They had hand-outs. They had tents and chairs and music.

Oh, yes…

Did I mention the Mayor?

Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, AZ, had quite a conversation with me while Pamela snapped pictures!

<img src="image.gif" alt="Tina talks to the Mayor" /> <img src="image.gif" alt="Tina and the Mayor" />

You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with Basket Express and Roadrunner Florist. Our beautiful, local Phoenix Flower and Gift Shop is located just 2 blocks off the Light Rail line. That means when construction is complete people will be able to get off the Light Rail and walk to Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express!

We invite you to call, click or come by!

<img src="image.gif" alt="Summer Flowers" />  <img src="image.gif" alt="Springy flowers" />  <img src="image.gif" alt="Mix Spring Flowers" />  <img src="image.gif" alt="Spring Basket" />

 

15 Comments
  1. This is very interesting! Construction seems like quite the work load, thank you for sharing!

    • You know, Meryl, until you actually do something, you don’t know how hard it really is. Here’s a group of men who are supervisors. They tell the workers what to do. But when they go to do it themselves, they don’t have a clue!! It’s that way in life, too. Ever watched a painter or a sculptor? How about a pianist? Looks simple, doesn’t it? Haha!! Try it and you’ll see… a true professional MAKES it look easy! It’s the same in our industry. Everyone thinks they can design flowers (and gift baskets) themselves. They call that DIY. (do it yourself). That’s because Martha Stewart makes it looks so easy! But it’s really not! It takes a long time (sometimes years) and practice to design professional arrangements. So it is with all the hard work we all do. Yours, too. Without your life experiences and your education, you would not be able to help people who are eating their heart out.

  2. That looks like a really fun day – community spirit in action! (and those flowers – man they are beautiful!)

    • Thanks, Jo! We had a fun day (in the heat in the desert) and we’re excited, actually VERY excited, for the construction to be complete! Thanks for the compliments about the flowers!

    • Thanks, Jo!! We wish you were in the neighborhood so you could get on the rail and come see us!

  3. Great to hear that Phoenix is getting a light rail.. these trains seem to be getting popular!

  4. Hi Tina,

    That sounds like a great project for the city. Here in the Northeast, the rail systems are really convenient and it’s an easier way to get around than by car. Parking, omg, don’t get me started on that one, lol…

    ~ Don

    • We’re way behind the times in our public transportation, and the light rail is finally bringing Phoenix together with Tempe and Mesa. It’s been a long-time coming and we’re excited to have it completed!

  5. What an interesting party! I can understand why you are excited about this rail project… could make a huge difference in your business.

    • Thanks, Pat. The light rail is a pain in the butt during construction, but now that it’s half-way through we do see a light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended!). Today we drove through the street and we can see the places where they will be placing the track, the concrete edgings, the electric power units. It’s fun to watch the day to day changes.

  6. I love the activity and camaraderie between neighbors and you found a good way to make your shop known to them, too! Brilliant! More people to come your way and more orders in the future. 🙂

    • Thanks so much!!! The party was a great way for us to promote our business and meet our neighbors!

  7. What an interesting story! It’s great that the Light Rail will bring more business to you. Phoenix seems like a cool place to do business.

    • Thanks, Gina. Phoenix is a great place to live and yes, to do business!!

  8. What a wonderful story to share. Only thing missing was a video of you, Barbara & the guys singing “I’ve been working on the rr…” You documented the behind the scenes which could someday be important to your town. Good job.