Nearly 200 people lined the tracks of the newest light rail station Friday as the inaugural car of the Green Line arrived for a grand opening celebration.
The Green Line is a 12.8-mile-long project that will eventually connect downtown Sacramento to South and North Natomas and the Sacramento International Airport. This first phase, which opensed Friday, is a 1.1-mile segment that extends from downtown at the H and Eighth streets station to the the Township 9 station at Seventh Street and Richards Boulevard in the River District.
The Township 9 station station is built on a site that was once the location of a cannery, and the station’s designers incorporated some of the cannery’s architectural elements, such as exposed-brick columns, angled metal rafters and multi-paned windows which are set high in the station walls.
“When you stand on the platform at this station, you feel like you are connected to the history of Sacramento and the future of Sacamento at the same time,” City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said Friday.
Public relations consultant Patti Ramsdell said she came to the new light rail station site for the groundbreaking in 2009 and returned for the celebration Friday to see the end result.
“The station is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see what happens here next,” Ramsdell said. “It’s another way to get to all of the fun that will be out here when Township 9 is built out.”
Friday’s celebration included live music, information booths from Farm Fresh to You, McDonald’s, the California Highway Patrol and the River District and free ice cream and snacks provided by Regional Transit.
Scott Syphax, president of the Nehemiah Corporation and the developer of Township 9, told the crowds of well-wishers at the event that, despite economic struggles, the city needs to remain committed to making long term investments.
“This isn’t someone else’s town – it’s our town,” Syphax said. “We have to keep believing that there is no better place to live, to grow up, to raise a family and to retire than our Sacramento.”
Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.
Editorial note: The article has been corrected to relfect that the first phase of the Green Line extends from the H and Eighth streets station to the Township 9 station.