PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey has announced $230 million in new transportation infrastructure investments, including upgrades to the Gila River Bridge to allow for the overall widening of Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Chandler.
“Despite the pandemic, Arizona’s economy is strong and families and businesses continue to relocate here in record numbers,” Ducey said in a press release Thursday. “Now is the right time to use our state and federal dollars to make investments that create jobs, modernize our infrastructure and improve highway safety.”
The funding comes from transportation dollars, including higher than anticipated revenue amid Arizona’s strong economic recovery, and federal COVID-relief funds.
The projects include:
- $33 million to rebuild and widen the Gila River Bridge on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande, paving the way for a full expansion of I-10 between the two cities;
- $41 million to widen U.S. Route 93 north of Wickenburg;
- $40 million to add capacity to Interstate 17 north of metro Phoenix; and
- $117 million to improve more than 600 highway lane-miles across the state.
The funding plan is in partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation and follows formal action last week by ADOT’s Priority Planning Advisory Committee. The proposal was to go before the State Transportation Board for consideration at its Friday meeting.
The I-10 Gila River Bridge is the first step in completing the widening of the final 27-mile stretch of the key commerce corridor between Phoenix and Tucson. The project will rebuild and widen the I-10 bridge to three lanes in each direction over the Gila River and open opportunities to further widen I-10 in both directions. That project is planned for construction starting in 2022.
Road improvements will address rough conditions on more than 600 lane-miles of highways around the state, with nearly 400 of those lane-miles located in rural counties. These 19 projects are expected to be complete in 2022 and will reduce long-term maintenance costs and enhance safety.
“This funding plan outlined by Governor Ducey and ADOT prioritizes Arizona’s most immediate transportation needs and opens opportunities for future expansion,” said State Transportation Board Chairman Steve Stratton, who represents Pinal, Gila and Graham counties. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to put this plan to work.”
The projects will be funded with $150.3 million of COVID-19 relief monies allocated to the state and $80 million in state transportation funds, including revenue that exceeded earlier projections. As part of the plan, Maricopa County and Pima County regions will receive $31.3 million for transportation investments through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act.
“ADOT is an agency focused on getting everyone safely home. That’s not just something we say; it’s our true north as a department,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “These projects — enhancing mobility on I-10 and creating lasting improvements to some of our highways statewide — underscore that commitment to the public and meeting their needs. These projects will support continued economic growth and are designed to address some of our most pressing transportation needs.”
Arizona’s population grew by nearly 120,700 people from July 2018 to July 2019, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released in December 2019.
Funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act is part of a $900 billion stimulus plan approved by Congress in 2020.