CASA GRANDE — A new interchange at Interstate 10 and Kortsen Road could arrive in the next few years.
The Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization’s updated Regional Transportation Plan includes the $37 million project in its list of construction plans.
But when construction will start will depend on funding, according to Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland. Projects on the list still need funding, which would come from the state through Highway User Revenue Funds or through the federal government or both, he said.
Funding could also come from the half-cent sales tax that Pinal County voters approved in 2017. The county has collected more than $27.3 million from the tax, but the use of those funds depends on the Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1.
The court is currently working on a decision about a lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute against the tax. The Goldwater Institute claims that the tax is in violation of state laws because it exempts items that cost more than $10,000 from the tax. The courts have allowed the county to collect the tax revenue and hold it in an escrow account while a decision is pending. The court may make a ruling sometime this month.
A couple of other major projects in the update for the Casa Grande Valley include paving a portion of the dirt part of Burris Road and widening Thornton Road between State Route 84 and Interstate 8. There are also multiple smaller paving, chip sealing and safety improvement projects on the list for the next five years for the Casa Grande, Eloy and Coolidge areas.
The plan covers about 1,150 square miles of Pinal County, including Casa Grande, Eloy and Coolidge. Metropolitan planning organizations are required by the federal government after a city in the area reaches a population greater than 50,000 people.
This is the second update to the plan since it was created in 2016. The plan covers 20 years of goals and targets for mobility, safety and infrastructure, as well as possible projects for roadway, railway, truck, bus, bicycle, pedestrian and air traffic. It also includes projects to help control air quality, since the area is located in a non-attainment area for air quality by the federal government, meaning minimum standards are not met.