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Valley Metro 50th Street Station Design

First-of-its-kind light rail station in Phoenix sets new standards for accessibility and inclusiveness.
  • View of people on platform and train pulling into new light-rail station in Phoenix - Gannett Fleming.

    The 50th Street Station is the first station to be added to the existing rail corridor since it was built. Photo by Valley Metro.

Client
Valley Metro Rail

Partner(s)
Stacy and Witbeck, Dig Studio

Location
Phoenix, Arizona

Our Role
Design.

Data
Construction Cost
$23 million
Completed
2019
Type
New Construction
Outcomes
  • Enhanced transit accessibility for disability resource center clients
  • Improved light rail service for central city neighborhood
  • First project supported by voter-approved funding program.

Valley Metro has added a new light rail station to serve businesses, residences, and the disabled community in the central city neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. The station is located near the campus of Ability360, a nonprofit resource center for the disability community, used by up to 500 people daily. While all Valley Metro Rail stations are accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 50th Street Station features enhanced pedestrian detection crosswalk signaling, wider platforms, and gently sloped entries, making it a model of advanced accessibility design.

The station, built along a 1.9-mile stretch between two existing stations, is the first new station to be added to the 28-mile Valley Metro Rail corridor since it was built in 2008. It also is the first project constructed as part of Transportation 2050, a voter-approved program to address transportation needs throughout greater Phoenix.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming provided design services for the 50th Street Station, a side-platform station in central city, consistent with existing station platforms on the light rail line. In addition to maximizing accessibility for travelers, the station design highlights the site’s stunning views of distant mountains. The design team also worked with a local artist to incorporate shade structures depicting native flora. The project scope included a physical model of the planned structure so the blind community could review it by touch.

Our firm worked closely with the construction manager-at-risk contractor during the pre-construction phase to assist in the development of cost estimates, schedules, and value engineering. The project included installing four signalized crossings that improve pedestrian safety and widening the existing roadway to accommodate the new facility. All construction was completed without disrupting ongoing light rail operations to avoid inconveniencing travelers.

Key Features

  • Sloped entries and wider platforms enhance mobility for wheelchair users
  • Advanced pedestrian detection system improves safety in nearby crosswalks
  • Careful construction staging avoided the disruption of ongoing rail operations
  • Station design maximizes mountain views, adding to the site’s aesthetic appeal.

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