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ADOT OKs Preservation-Centric 5-Year Plan

Declining Revenues Make Maintenance Top Priority

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

The State Transportation Board approved the Arizona Department of Transportation’s $5.5B five-year transportation plan at its June 19 meeting. As in the initially proposed plan, issued in March, preservation of the existing highway system is the department’s top priority (AZBEX, March 27).

In announcing the approval, ADOT’s statement explained the preservation-based focus is necessitated by lower income to the department from fuel taxes, vehicle license tax revenue and federal funding.

According to comments from ADOT Director John Halikowski, “ADOT and its partners are striving to reduce fatalities, increase mobility and improve the economy by balancing infrastructure needs all while using a funding source that continues to erode due to inflation, fuel economy and alternative fuels.

While fuel economy and alternatives to gasoline are good for the consumer and the environment, necessary expansion and maintenance of our transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with needs. Appropriate investment is necessary for expansion and maintenance of our infrastructure, not only for safety and efficiency, but also to compete in today’s global economy.”

The department’s stated goal is to protect its $19.7B state highway system investment. Replacing the system would cost approximately $200B, according to department estimates.

Key Projects Detailed in Three Regions

ADOT presented overviews of 15 major projects under the plan, broken out for the regions of Greater Arizona, Maricopa Association of Governments and the Pima Association of Governments. Some of the larger projects include:

Greater Arizona

  • SR 189 Improvements – Nogales to I-19: $70M (FY 2016, 2018, 2021)
  • Widening SR 260 – I-17 to Thousand Trails: $62M (FY 2015-16)
  • Railroad Overpass Bridge on SR 347: $55M (FY 2015-17, 2020)

Pima County

  • I-10 – Ruthrauff Road Interchange Reconstruction: $104M (FY 2017-18)
  • I-10 – Ina Road Interchange Reconstruction: $85M (FY 2016-17)
  • I-10 – Country Club Road Interchange Construction: $71M (FY 2018-20)
  • I-10 – Houghton Road Interchange: $41M (FY 2016-19)
  • I-19 – Ajo Way Interchange Reconstruction: $22M (FY 2018)

Maricopa County

  • South Mountain Freeway Construction: $1.48B (FY 2016-20)
  • I-10 – 32nd St near Sky Harbor-Loop 202 Santan Widening: $303M (FY 2016-20)
  • Loop 303-I-10 Interchange: $83M (FY 2016-19)

The Five-Year Program serves as a blueprint for future projects and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for those projects.

Read more at ADOT

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