Funding woes hamper Phoenix light-rail expansion

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Funding problems have prompted Phoenix officials to decide against a proposed 3-mile expansion of the light-rail system in the western part of the city for at least the next 16 months.

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Light rail extension shelved - Phoenix city officials have put the brakes on a Metro Light Rail extension.

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Unlike other extensions, the projected $273 million project is being paid for entirely by local sales taxes.

That's because Phoenix wanted to avoid a complicated process required to tap federal funds.

Deputy City Manager Ed Zuercher says he won't ask the Phoenix City Council to award a construction contract on the extension because local sales-tax receipts have fallen sharply in the past three months.

Work was to have begun in the spring, then was pushed back to this month.

Zuercher now says the soonest the city will look at a contract for the extension will be late next year.

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