USA: A ceremony on May 30 officially marked the start of construction of the $200m Central Mesa light rail extension of the Valley Metro in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Valley Transit Construction joint venture of Kiewit, Mass Electric and Parsons Transportation Group is expected to begin main works shortly under a design-build contract. Opening is scheduled for 2016, but this may be brought forward to 2015.

The 5 km extension will run along Main Street in Mesa from the current terminus at Sycamore to Mesa Drive, with four stops including a park and ride facility. It will be the first extension since the opening of the 32 km Metro light rail line in December 2008.

Transport agency Valley Metro and the City of Mesa have developed a programme to assist businesses affected by the works, including Metro Max Rewards, which offer people who subscribe to project updates discounts at local companies.