Transportation Board Approves Speed-Up of Ariz. Projects

Mon January 22, 2007 - West Edition
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PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Transportation Board granted final approval to speed up seven freeway projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The move Dec.15 gave the go-ahead to use $193 million in state funds to move up the projects by as many as 14 years.

The construction and land-acquisition accelerations were recommended by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and the Arizona Department of Transportation as the most-important pieces of the Valley’s Regional Transportation Plan to push ahead on its 20-year schedule.

The MAG regional council, made up of the Phoenix-area mayors, approved the list Dec. 13 and passed it on to the state board.

The state funding, called Statewide Transportation Acceleration Needs, was authorized by the Legislature in June as part of the General Fund — the first time such money is being used on freeway projects.

Statewide, $307 million was approved to accelerate projects, with Maricopa County getting 60 percent, Pima County 16 percent and the remainder going to projects around the state.

The State Transportation Board has approved the acceleration plans for Pima County and the rural counties.