PHOENIX – Projects to improve Arizona’s highway system through expansion, preservation and modernization were formally approved today to move forward as part of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s annual five-year planning process.
Today the State Transportation Board met in Pinetop-Lakeside and voted to adopt the 2016-2020 Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program. The board’s action determines which projects are now programmed in Greater Arizona, the Maricopa County region and the Pima County region. The process to finalize these projects began in March with a call to the public, stakeholders and local governments to comment online or during three public hearings.
“ADOT and its partners are striving to reduce fatalities, increase mobility and improve the economy by balancing infrastructure needs all while using a funding source that continues to erode due to inflation, fuel economy and alternative fuels,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “While fuel economy and alternatives to gasoline are good for the consumer and the environment, necessary expansion and maintenance of our transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with needs. Appropriate investment is necessary for expansion and maintenance of our infrastructure, not only for safety and efficiency, but also to compete in today's global economy.”
Much like the current Five-Year Program, the newly adopted 2016-2020 Five-Year Program reflects a major focus on preserving the existing state highway system while moving some high-priority expansion projects forward. ADOT must prioritize projects due to continued low revenue from the gas and vehicle license taxes and from decreased federal funding — all of which support the Five-Year Program. ADOT’s continued focus on preservation allows the department to protect its investment of $19.7 billion in the state highway system. Without a commitment to preservation, it would cost approximately $200 billion to replace the system.
Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions in the two metropolitan areas have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases that allow for more expansion projects to take place and for more transportation funding overall.
The following is a list of major projects for Greater Arizona, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) region and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) region during the 2016-2020 Five-Year Program. This list provides an overview and does not include all projects in the Five-Year Program.
- State Route 260, Interstate 17 to Thousand Trails: This widening project totals $62 million ($52 million will be allocated in FY 2016 for construction, while $10 million was programmed in FY 2015 for right of way). The project, which is scheduled to begin construction in spring 2016, will upgrade a nine-mile segment of SR 260 from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane, modern divided highway between Thousand Trails Road and the Interstate 17 junction in Camp Verde, east of Cottonwood. The project is the final step in transforming SR 260 into a continuous four-lane divided highway between the I-17/SR 260 junction and Cottonwood to enhance safety and improve traffic flow for the Greater Verde Valley area.
- State Route 347 Railroad Overpass: This estimated $55 million bridge 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, so vehicle and train traffic do not impede one another. SR 347 is the only direct route between the city of Maricopa and metro Phoenix. The funding for this project is allocated in phases. ADOT has an agreement with the city of Maricopa for the city to contribute a total of $8 million to this project.
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 allocated for construction
In FY 2015, $6 million was allocated for project development.
- State Route 189, Nogales to Interstate 19: Total project cost is currently estimated at $70 million. ADOT is planning these improvements along SR 189 to ensure international commerce can efficiently and safely travel between Arizona and Mexico at the Mariposa Port of Entry, one of the busiest land ports in the United States. Even though it is one of the shortest highways in the state, SR 189 has a huge impact on trade in this region.
FY 2016: $2 million allocated for preliminary engineering
FY 2018: $4 million allocated for design work
FY 2021: $64 million is anticipated to be available for construction (note that this portion of the project is in the 2021-2025 Development Program)
- State Route 89, State Route 89A to Deep Well Ranch Road: $15 million allocated in FY 2017 for a corridor widening project that will improve capacity, operations and safety. The roadway will be widened from two lanes to four lanes.
- US 60, Show Low to 40th Street: $6 million allocated in FY 2018 for this project, which will add turn lanes, widen the roadway and construct intersection improvements.
- US 93, Cane Springs section: $5 million allocated in FY 2019 for project design work on this widening project that is part of ADOT’s commitment to convert all of US 93 to a modern, four-lane divided highway. In FY 2024, $31 million is anticipated to be available for construction (note that this portion of the project is in the 2021-2025 Development Program).
- Interstate 15, Bridge No. 1: $2.5 million allocated in FY 2017 for design and $33 million allocated in FY 2019 for bridge replacement.
- Interstate 10, Ina Road traffic interchange: $85 million allocated from FY 2016 to FY 2017. This project entails a full reconstruction of the Ina Road traffic interchange. Interstate 10 currently passes over Ina Road, and with this project, Ina Road will become elevated and pass over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad. The existing frontage roads and ramps will also require reconstruction.
- Interstate 10, Houghton Road traffic interchange: $41 million allocated from FY 2016 to FY 2019 for this construction project.
- Interstate 10, Ruthrauff Road traffic interchange: $104 million allocated from FY 2017 to FY 2018 for this reconstruction project.
- Interstate 10, Country Club Road traffic interchange: $71 million allocated from FY 2018 to FY 2020 for this construction project.
- Interstate 19, Ajo Way traffic interchange: $22 million allocated in FY 2018 for Phase II of this reconstruction project.
- South Mountain Freeway: $1.48 billion allocated from FY 2016 to FY 2020 for construction, which is expected to begin in early 2016.
- Loop 303, I-10 interchange: $83 million allocated from FY 2016 to FY 2019 for Phase II of the Loop 303 project, which will extend Loop 303 south of I-10 in Goodyear.
- Interstate 10, 32nd Street near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Chandler: $303 million allocated from FY 2016 to FY 2020 for widening and other improvements to I-10. This project includes improvements at the Broadway Curve to help traffic flow more efficiently through this section of the Maricopa Freeway.
The Five-Year Program serves as a blueprint for future projects and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for those projects. It is updated annually. Each program begins with a long-range visioning process, moves into a more realistic 20-year plan and finally yields each Five-Year Program. The program is developed by working closely with local planning organizations and community leaders to identify ready-to-construct or design projects.
Funding for the Five-Year Program is generated by the users of transportation services, primarily through gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, and the vehicle license tax.