Some Suspect AZ 83 Widening Plan Designed for Mine

Fri February 24, 2012 - West Edition

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) A $76 million plan to widen hilly, curvy Arizona Highway 83 south of Tucson is raising suspicions among transportation planners, residents and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry that it is designed to help a proposed mine.

Arizona Department of Transportation officials said they’re only trying to plan for the future by asking local authorities to add the project to their long-term blueprint.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that Arizona 83 could grow from two to four lanes, plus passing lanes, bus pullouts and wide shoulders.

Running for 22 mi. from Interstate 10 south, the project would pass the proposed Rosemont copper mine, which has strong opposition.

ADOT spokesman Tom Tait said the agency would be asking to add the project to the list regardless of the mine proposal.