July 30, 2021
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Some $230 million worth of new transportation infrastructure investments is in the works for Arizona to help enhance highway safety and meet the demand of new residents moving into the state.

[Above photo by the Arizona DOT.]

That funding uptick made up of $80 million in state transportation monies – generated from higher than anticipated state revenue due to a “strong economic recovery” – and $150.3 million in federal COVID-relief funds. Arizona’s State Transportation Board subsequently voted in favor of the proposed investments at its February 19 meeting.

Gov. Ducey. Photo by the Arizona DOT.

“Despite the pandemic, Arizona’s economy is strong and families and businesses continue to relocate here in record numbers,” said Governor Doug Ducey (R) in a statement. “Now is the right time to use our state and federal dollars to make investments that create jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and improve highway safety.”

The governor’s investment plan – overseen by the Arizona Department of Transportation – involves 19 transportation projects that should wrap up in 2022, including:

  • $41 million to widen U.S. Route 93 north of Wickenburg.
  • $40 million to add capacity to Interstate 17 north of metro Phoenix.
  • $117 million to improve more than 600 highway lane-miles across the state, with nearly 400 of those lane-miles located in rural counties.

The lone exception is a $33 million project – expected to start construction in 2022 – that aims to rebuild and widen the Gila River Bridge on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, paving the way for a full expansion of I-10 between the two cities.

John Halikowski. Photo by the Arizona DOT

This is the “first step” in finishing the widening of a key commerce corridor between Phoenix and Tucson, according to the Arizona DOT: rebuilding and widening the I-10 bridge to three lanes in each direction over the Gila River, which opens opportunities to further widen I-10 in both directions.

“These projects – enhancing mobility on I-10 and creating lasting improvements to some of our highways statewide – underscore that commitment to the public and meeting their needs,” noted Arizona DOT Director John Halikowski. “These projects will support continued economic growth and are designed to address some of our most pressing transportation needs.”

editor@aashto.org

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