Arizona awarded $15 million federal grant toward Maricopa overpass

State Route 347/Union Pacific Railroad crossing to alleviate traffic backups

PHOENIX ‒ The Arizona Department of Transportation has been selected to receive a $15 million federal grant toward the construction of a railroad overpass on State Route 347, the only direct route between the city of Maricopa and metro Phoenix.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation is for a $55 million project intended to enhance safety and alleviate traffic backups at the SR 347 Union Pacific Railroad crossing in Maricopa.

Instead of waiting for trains to pass, motorists on SR 347 will be able to travel on an overpass above the tracks when ADOT completes the grade-separated interchange, which is slated for construction in fiscal year 2020. The new interchange also will offer better access for emergency responders.

ADOT and Maricopa officials have been working together for some time on a long-term solution for this crossing. After completing a feasibility study in 2007, ADOT partnered with the city of Maricopa to fund a design concept report and environmental analysis that began in 2012 and ultimately identified a preferred alternative.

“The reconstruction of the SR 347 interchange will enhance safety and address traffic congestion at the railroad crossing by allowing motorists, including emergency service vehicles, to pass over the tracks,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Maricopa has experienced explosive growth over the last decade and traffic volumes along this critical route will continue to climb, which is why this project has become a high priority for ADOT, Maricopa and regional transportation officials.”

More than 60 trains run daily through Maricopa – one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation – and that number is expected to grow.

“While this project has been a team effort, it would have been impossible without the ongoing support of Chairman Kelly Anderson and all the current and past members of the State Transportation Board,” Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said.

“I would also like to thank ADOT staff for their tireless work. They recognized the public safety importance and found the money in their budget, during one of the worst economic downturns, to keep this project moving forward.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation received 627 eligible applications totaling $10.1 billion, or 20 times the available funding, in requests for the seventh round of TIGER grants, which are awarded to transportation projects with significant regional or national impact. Approximately $500 million in funding was available.

Other Arizona projects that have received TIGER grants are:

  • 2010: $63 million for a modern street car project in Tucson.
  • 2012: $21.6 million for the rehabilitation of Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6 in the far northwest corner of the state.
  • 2014: $2.9 million for the Tawa’ovi Community Streets project for the Hopi tribal community in northeastern part of the state.
  • 2014: $1.6 million for Central Phoenix Multimodal Transportation Improvement Plan.
  • 2015: $10.3 million for city of Phoenix Grand Canal bike and pedestrian improvements.

For more information on the SR 347 project, including a computer-generated video of the proposed grade separation, please visit: azdot.gov/sr347.