PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation, in partnership with the city of Maricopa, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Federal Highway Administration, has received federal approval for the proposed bridge project on State Route 347 over the railroad crossing, clearing the way for the project to move forward when funding is available.
On March 18, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact after reviewing the Final Environmental Assessment, the definitive decision-making document federally required for the project.
This grants the final approval necessary for ADOT to begin the process of acquiring right of way, completing the design and beginning construction when funding is available.
The environmental review process, which includes preparing the draft and final environmental assessments, was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The estimated $55 million project is intended to alleviate traffic backups at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing in Pinal County by replacing the existing at-grade intersection with an overpass on SR 347, which is the only direct route between the city of Maricopa and metro Phoenix, so vehicle and train traffic do not impede one another.
More than 40 trains run daily through the middle of Maricopa, which has been one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation. Future plans call for more than 100 trains to pass through Maricopa daily.
In June 2014, the project was added to ADOT’s Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program, including $18.8 million for design and right-of-way acquisition and $36.2 million for construction in fiscal year 2020:
- FY 2015: $5.5 million allocated for design and $500,000 allocated for right of way
- FY 2016: $5.5 million allocated for right of way
- FY 2017: $7.3 million allocated for right of way
- FY 2020: $36.2 million for construction
For more information on the SR 347 project, including a computer-generated video of the proposed grade separation, please visit the project webpage: azdot.gov/sr347.