Phoenix to host second public hearing for ADOT’s Tentative Five-Year Program

Preservation of state highway system major focus for 2016-2020 program

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation continues to gather comments on the 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program while reaching out to the public and communities statewide for their input on the direction of the program over the next five years.

The second public hearing for the Tentative Five-Year Program is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 17 in Phoenix. The meeting will be held in the ADOT Administration Building Auditorium, 206 S. 17th Ave., Phoenix. The monthly State Transportation Board meeting will follow the public hearing.

The 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Program lays out proposed projects and improvements to the state highway system over the next five years, with a major focus on preserving existing infrastructure to ensure that it remains in good condition, while providing a reliable transportation network for drivers. It can be a tough balance, as constrained funding simply cannot meet all the transportation needs around the state.

The public comment period for the 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Program began last month and continues until May. The Five-Year Program is updated annually and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for projects. This includes highways, bridges, transit and aviation.

However, limited funding amid growing statewide transportation needs continues to be the biggest challenge over the next five years. Fewer dollars dedicated to transportation is a result of less revenue from traditional sources of transportation funding, like the state gas tax and vehicle license tax, which support the Five-Year Program. The state gas tax is currently 18 cents per gallon and has not been increased for more than 20 years.

These transportation funding challenges have signaled a shift to a strong focus on the preservation of the state highway system, to protect a system valued at $19.7 billion. If ADOT did not invest in preservation, it would cost approximately $200 billion to replace our existing highway infrastructure, should it fall into disrepair. ADOT is committed to moving major expansion projects forward as well, but with less transportation dollars to stretch, fewer expansion projects make it into the Five-Year Program.

The 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Program is available for public review and comment at ADOT has developed a “how to read it” guide and welcomes feedback at [email protected]. A phone number is also available for public comments at 1.855.712.8530.

The State Transportation Board will consider all public comments received by May 26. The first public hearing was held in March in Tucson. The third and final public hearing will be held on May 15 in Chino Valley. The board is expected to adopt the final 2016-2020 Five-Year Program at its June 19 meeting in Pinetop-Lakeside.

Below are the details for the April and May public hearings and the June board meeting:

April 17 at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the ADOT Administration Building Auditorium, 206 S. 17th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007

May 15 at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the Town of Chino Valley Council Chambers, 202 N. State Route 89, Chino Valley, AZ 86323

June 19 at 9 a.m.: Board meeting at the Pinetop-Lakeside Town Hall, 1360 N. Niels Hansen Lane, Lakeside, AZ 85929