Because of additional funding available through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, ADOT will be able to move forward on a quicker timeline with four major projects.
The Arizona Department of Transportation's five-year construction program for state highways promotes commerce through investments in major freight and travel corridors, supports Greater Arizona through key projects and highlights the agency's commitment to not only maintaining but improving the quality of pavement, bridges and other infrastructure.
Meeting in Holbrook, the state Transportation Board voted to adopt the agency's 2017-2021 Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program, which determines projects in Greater Arizona, the Maricopa County region and the Pima County region that will receive funding during the period.
“Major freight corridors that connect Arizona to Mexico and large neighboring U.S. markets will benefit from key expansion projects in this Five-Year Program,” John Halikowski, ADOT director said. “Improvement projects along some of Arizona's busiest corridors will not only provide better mobility but help enhance trade, commerce and economic development. Meanwhile, we are protecting Arizona's $20 billion investment in highways and answering Gov. Doug Ducey's call to continuously improve our value to this state.”
Because of additional funding available through the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, ADOT will be able to move forward on a quicker timeline with four major projects that will improve key commerce corridors: widening Interstate 10 in Pinal County from state Route 87 to Picacho and from Earley Road to Interstate 8, and widening two stretches of US 93 between Wickenburg and Interstate 40.
Once the two I-10 projects are complete, ADOT will have reached its goal of widening the entire stretch of I-10 between Casa Grande and Tucson to a six-lane divided highway.
Other projects programmed for funding include improving state Route 189 in Nogales to enhance the flow of commerce between the port of entry and Interstate 19.
A long-sought railroad overpass on state Route 347 in Maricopa will move forward due to a $15 million federal TIGER grant and $15 million local contribution in addition to ADOT's $19 million commitment.
Facing growing needs and limited transportation funding from traditional sources, ADOT remains committed to preserving the existing state highway system. The program approved meets the agency's goal of $260 million per year dedicated to preservation.
That funding supports two of ADOT's key performance indicators under Gov. Ducey's call for continuous improvement among state agencies:
• Bridges: ADOT strives to keep the percentage of highway bridges rated in good or fair condition at 95 percent or more.
• Pavement: ADOT aims to increase interstate highway rated in good condition from 73 percent to 80 percent as measured by smoothness.
The state Transportation Board's approval of the Five-Year Program, which is updated annually, followed a call for public comment in March and three public hearings. In general, projects begin as part of the agency's long-range visioning process, move into a 20-year plan and a six- to 10-year development program and then become part of the Five-Year Program, which is developed by working closely with local planning organizations and community leaders to identify projects that are ready to build or design.
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. Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases that allow for more expansion projects to take place.
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 2017-2021 Five-Year Program. This list provides an overview and does not include all projects in the Five-Year Program.
• State Route 189, Nogales to Interstate 19: Total project cost is estimated at $70 million. ADOT is moving forward with 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.
• State Route 347 Railroad Overpass: This project will alleviate traffic backups at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing in Maricopa by replacing the existing at-grade intersection with an overpass on SR 347. The SR 347 project received a $15 million federal TIGER grant and a $15 million local contribution to add to ADOT's $19 million commitment to construct the project starting in FY 2017.
• Interstate 10: State Route 87 to Picacho: This $85 million project to start in FY 2018 will widen the highway to three lanes in each direction and improve traffic interchanges.
• Interstate 10: Earley Road to Interstate 8: This $40 million project in FY 2019 will widen the highway to three lanes in each direction and improve traffic interchanges south of Casa Grande.
• U.S. 93: “The Gap” Tegner Drive to state Route 89: This project, which will widen a 3-mi. (4.8 km) stretch of U.S. 93 near Wickenburg to a four-lane divided highway, will be funded in phases.
• 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 near Prescott. The roadway will be widened from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway.
• U.S. 60: Show Low to 40th Street: $7 million allocated in FY 2017 to add turn lanes, widen the roadway and improve intersections.
• U.S. 93: Carrow to Stephens: $35.5 million allocated in FY 2021 to widen this 3-mi. (4.8 km) section of U.S. 93 north of Wikieup. This project is part of ADOT's commitment to convert all of U.S. 93 to a modern, four-lane divided highway.
Pima County Region
• Interstate 10: Ina Road traffic interchange: $93 million allocated from FY 2017 to FY 2018 to fully reconstruct the Ina Road traffic interchange in Tucson. Interstate 10 currently passes over Ina Road, and with this project Ina Road will be elevated and pass over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad. The existing frontage roads and ramps also will be reconstructed.
• Interstate 10: Houghton Road traffic interchange: A total of $46 million is allocated in FY 2017, FY 2020 and FY 2021 for this construction project.
• Interstate 10: Ruthrauff Road traffic interchange: $106 million allocated from FY 2017 to FY 2020 for this reconstruction project.
• Interstate 10: Country Club Road traffic interchange: $21 million allocated from FY 2019 to FY 2021 for this construction project.
• Interstate 19: Ajo Way traffic interchange: $30 million allocated from FY 2018 to FY 2019 for Phase II of this reconstruction project.
Maricopa County Region
• Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway: $973 million allocated from FY 2017 to FY 2019 for construction of the 22-mi. (35.4 km)-long freeway scheduled to begin later this year.
• Interstate 10: 32nd Street near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Chandler: $324 million allocated from FY 2019 to FY 2021 for widening and other improvements. This project includes improvements at the Broadway Curve to help traffic flow more efficiently.
• Interstate 10: Loop 202 Santan to Riggs Road: $74 million allocated from FY 2019 to FY 2021 for the construction of a general purpose lane and an HOV lane in each direction within this 6-mi. (9.6 km) stretch.
• Loop 101 Pima Freeway: State Route 51 to Princess Drive: $61 million allocated in FY 2021 for the construction of a general purpose lane in each direction within a 6-mi. stretch.
• Loop 101 Pima Freeway: Princess Drive to Shea Boulevard: $53 million allocated in FY 2021 for the construction of a general purpose lane in each direction within a 6-mi. (9.7 km) stretch.
For more information, visit azdot.gov.
(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide's website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)