City of Mesa, Ariz., enhances pedestrian safety on light-rail project

Nov. 7, 2014

Valley Metro Rail Inc. is a non-profit, public corporation whose mission is to design, build and operate a 57-mile transit system throughout metropolitan Phoenix. The Valley Metro board, whose members include the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and others, oversees the management of the agency.

The agency launched the Central Mesa Light Rail Extension construction project in July 2012; completion is scheduled for late 2015. Cost is estimated at $200 million, with funding provided by county and federal sources. The project will create an estimated 700 jobs in 2014.

The project will add 3.1 miles of transit service through downtown Mesa. Four stations will serve the Mesa extension, and the line will carry an estimated 5,000 passengers per day.

The project involves far more than laying a track. A new streetscape is being built along the extension to better serve drivers, pedestrians, light-rail passengers and bicyclists. As such, the project launched with the relocation of the underground utilities, the water, gas and electric lines. Once the utilities were relocated, work began on street and sidewalk removal and replacement, track installation and station construction.

Though not part of the design-build plans, the city of Mesa specified that the project re-route pedestrian traffic in a safe manner. The city called for, in essence, temporary
pedestrian access routes (TPAR) to replace existing pedestrian pathways. ADA-compliant TPARs provide pedestrians with safer guidance and passage through construction.

Trafficade Work Zone Services, Phoenix Ariz., is the Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) provider for the Mesa project. Ron Jones, general manager of Trafficade, knew the city of Mesa would prefer ADA-compliant devices for safer pedestrian guidance through the construction.

Jones recommended Plastic Safety Systems’ SafetyWall ADA-Compliant Pedestrian Longitudinal Channelizer for the project.

Because the Mesa Extension project is so large, Jones dedicates a crew to the project full-time during construction hours. The pathways and lengths of the TPARs often change daily. Trafficade has had as many as 1,000 longitudinal channelizer units deployed throughout the project at any given time.

Jones reports that they have not received any complaints about the TPARs or longitudinal channelizers. Rather, Trafficade has received nothing but compliments about their pedestrian pathways.

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