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AZ Needs $105B for Infrastructure Over 25 Yrs

Credit Jesse Major, Associated Press & The Republic

Source: Rose Law Group Reporter

All roads led to Pinal County last week as three ADOT executives spoke in Casa Grande at a Pinal Partnership event.

John Halikowkski, ADOT director, Michael Kies, director of ADOT’s multimodal planning division and Jesse Gutierrez, ADOT deputy state engineer for statewide operations, discussed the recent poor grade U.S. infrastructure received.

The state received a low C grade, at risk of slipping into the Ds, from the Society of Civil Engineers, adding the overall U.S. infrastructure system is in poor condition and showing its age.

Kies said, however, Arizona is better off than other states, with 96 percent of its bridges in fair to good condition.

The Trump administration is supporting infrastructure projects that are shovel ready, which is something Arizonians needs to be aware of because “the projects that we need to be building for economic development and the future aren’t sitting on the shelf designed and ready to go,” Halikowski said.

Trump’s $1T plan is both good and bad, said Halikowski because of the insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

For many years, the fund has been propped up by the general fund appropriations to make sure the states are at least getting a base level.

He said he’s not sure where the money is going to come from on the federal level. While ADOT can borrow inexpensively because of its triple-A bond rating, there has to be a revenue stream for repayment. Raising Arizona’s gas tax is an option for funding, but it hasn’t gone anywhere in the legislature.

Arizona is falling behind other states that have acted on their own to raise transportation funding through gasoline taxes, vehicle registration, and sales taxes.

Over the next 25-years, Arizona will need $105B in transportation, Kies said.

ADOT has also decided that over the next 25-years, Arizona should spend $370M each year just to preserve its transportation system in its present state, but that doesn’t account for roads that need to be reconstructed because of deterioration, Kies said.

Read more at Rose Law Group Reporter.

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