PHOENIX – As the Arizona Department of Transportation begins planning and programming for improvements to the state highway system over the next five years, the major focus will be on preserving existing infrastructure to keep it in good repair.
Today begins the public comment period for the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program. The Five-Year Program is updated every year and serves as a blueprint that details where, when and how regional, state and federal funding will be spent for projects over the next five years to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. This includes highways, bridges, transit and aviation.
Much like the current Five-Year Program, the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program reflects a major focus on preserving the existing state highway system while moving some programmed projects forward. ADOT must prioritize projects due to stagnant revenue from the gas and vehicle license taxes and from decreased federal funding—all of which support the Five-Year Program. Last year, ADOT cut $350 million from the 2014-2018 Five-Year Program because of substantially decreased revenue dedicated to transportation. No additional funding cuts are forecast for the 2015-2019 Five-Year Program, however, overall state and federal transportation funding continues to be flat.
The 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program includes a three percent increase in preservation spending over the 2014-2018 Program, with a steady increase in preservation funding over the next 10 years. Preserving the system means protecting our investment of $18.4 billion; this is the estimated value of the state highway system. The funding for the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program looks like this:
- Greater Arizona: $1.8 billion over five years (60 percent for preservation, 11 percent for expansion and 29 percent for modernization)
- Maricopa County region: $1.7 billion over five years
- Pima County region: $349 million over five years
- Aviation: $1.1 billion over five years
Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases.
The 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program is now available for public review and comment at www.azdot.gov/fiveyearprogram. ADOT has developed a “how to read it” guide and welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State Transportation Board will consider all public comments received by May 20. Public hearings will be conducted on March 14 in Phoenix, April 11 in Marana and May 9 in Flagstaff to allow for additional community input. The board is expected to adopt the final 2015-2019 Five-Year Program at the June 13 meeting in Willcox.
Below are the details for each of the public hearings and the June board meeting:
March 14 at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the ADOT Auditorium, 206 S. 17th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007
April 11 at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the Town of Marana Council Chambers, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive, Marana, AZ 85653
May 9 at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the City of Flagstaff Council Chambers, 211 W. Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 June 13 at 9 a.m.:
Board meeting in the City of Willcox Council Chambers, 300 W. Rex Allen Drive, Willcox, AZ 85643