COOLIDGE — After an initial omission, the latest state budget proposal now includes $50 million slated for planning to expand Interstate 10 between Chandler and Casa Grande.
According to reports, the project was put back in the budget framework after discussions Wednesday night between the statehouse and the governor’s office.
“I received a phone call late last evening from the governor’s office,” said Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge. “They let me know everyone agreed that the request should have been there in the first place, and it was going to be put in after my efforts.”
Shope said that the state’s economic numbers are forecasted to be strong and that the I-10 expansion would not be included at the expense of any other project.
The $50 million will be going toward adding a new lane on both sides of a 26-mile stretch between Loop 202 and State Route 387. With the project back in the budget, all three major Pinal County infrastructure requests — the other two being an overpass over Riggs Road near Maricopa and a Tier Two study of the North/South Freeway east of Coolidge — are part of the plan.
Shope said the current expectation is a budget will be passed next Wednesday.