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Friday, June 20, 2014

State Transportation Board approves Five-Year Construction Program

Projects were finalized for the 2015-2019 program.  The State Transportation Board voted last week to adopt the 2015-2019 Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program…

This means that projects to preserve, modernize and expand Arizona’s highway system have now formally been approved to move forward over the next five years.

You’ll remember that 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). It is divided into three sections: the Maricopa County region, the Pima County region and the 13 counties that make up Greater Arizona.

Each five-year program begins with a long-range visioning process, moves into a more realistic 20-year plan and finally yields each Five-Year Program. The program is developed by working closely with local planning organizations and community leaders to identify ready-to-construct or design projects. Funding for the Five-Year Program is generated by the users of transportation services, primarily through the gasoline tax and the vehicle license tax.

2015-2019 Program
The board’s recent action determines which projects are now programmed in Greater Arizona while allocating dedicated funding to the preservation of Arizona’s existing highway system over the next five years. In addition, six major projects will move forward in the Pima County region and four major projects will advance in the Maricopa County region using, in part, funding generated by those regions.

Much like the current Five-Year Program, the 2015-2019 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. The 2015-2019 Five-Year Program includes a three-percent increase in preservation spending over the current program, with a steady increase in preservation funding over the next 10 years.

The following is the list of projects for Greater Arizona during the 2015-2019 Five-Year Program. The list includes three projects that were added to the program during this spring’s public comment period, as the board provided input to ADOT planners.

* State Route 347 Railroad Overpass: Total project cost is $55 million.
FY 2015: $5.5 million allocated for design and $500,000 allocated for right of way.
FY 2016: $5.5 million allocated for right of way.
FY 2017: $7.3 million allocated for right of way.
FY 2020: $36.2 million for construction (note that this portion of the project is in the 2020-2024 Development Program).
* State Route 189, Nogales to Interstate 19: Total project cost is $69 million.
FY 2016: $2 million allocated for environmental work.
FY 2018: $4 million allocated for design.
FY 2022: $63 million for construction (note that this portion of the project is in the 2020-2024 Development Program).
* US 60, Show Low to Little Mormon Lake: $6 million allocated in FY 2018 for this project, which will add turn lanes, widen the roadway and construct intersection improvements.
* US 60, Silver King Section and Superior Streets: $45 million allocated in FY 2015 for this widening project (reconstruct to a four-lane roadway with a center turn lane).
* US 95, Fortuna Wash Bridge Construction: $13.5 million allocated in FY 2015 for construction of a new bridge.
* State Route 260, Interstate 17 to Thousand Trails: $62 million allocated in FY 2016 for construction of this widening project.
* State Route 89, State Route 89A to Deep Well Ranch Road: $15 million allocated in FY 2017 for a corridor widening project that will improve capacity, operations and safety.
* State Route 260, Lion Springs Section: $5 million allocated in FY 2019 for design work on this widening project.
* Interstate 15, Bridge No. 1: $2.5 million allocated in FY 2017 for design and $33 million allocated in FY 2019 for bridge replacement.

The public comment period for the 2015-2019 Five-Year Program began on March 7 and ended on May 20. During this time, public hearings were held in Phoenix, Marana and Flagstaff. Comments were also submitted online.
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