PHOENIX – It's going to take another 20 years for the light rail to be complete, but crews are celebrating a milestone this weekend.
Valley Metro is nearing the halfway point of construction on the Northwest Phoenix light rail extension on 19th Avenue.
Crews will begin to embed rail into the trackway near Dunlap and 19th avenues, marking a significant construction milestone.
To commemorate this achievement, Valley Metro hosted a First Track celebration Saturday morning.
"We're so excited, we want to celebrate with the community and the businesses here that we are at a halfway point," said Susan Tierney with Valley Metro.
The first half of the project has been about the underground utilities.
"To build the light rail system, we have to go underground and move utilities and do some roadway widening," Tierney said. "What you're going to see now is a lot of new pavement, a lot of new sidewalks and then we're going to start building the stations and then the trackway."
Trains are expected to start running in the area in about 18 months. Other extensions are planned or underway.
Community leaders, businesses and area residents are invited to the First Track celebration Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place at 7:15 a.m.
The community celebration and commemorative ceremony will feature games, free food and entertainment.