Pictured: Bob Zache makes a plea to save Pinto Creek Bridge, which is slated for demolition soon.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) brought its annual meeting to Globe last week to approve the five-year transportation plan and give local constituents an opportunity to comment and ask questions about the plan.
Local officials from cities and towns across Arizona were in attendance, but the most notable comment on the plan came from local resident Bob Zache, who asked the board if there was a possibility that the Pinto Creek Bridge can be saved for its historic significance.
The bridge on US 60 west of Miami and is slated to be razed and rebuilt beginning sometime in that fall. Engineering estimates are the new bridge will cost about $25.5 million. and is expected to begin in October, subject to contract approval by the ADOT board.
The current steel arch dome bridge is 636 feet long and was built in 1949. ADOT reports the bridge is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.
After hearing Zache’s question, a representative from ADOT reiterated the structural deficiencies and pointed out the cracks and corrosion that are at the root of the bridge’s problems.
“Anything men put up will eventually dome down,” he said. “Whether from gravity or whether, nothing lasts forever.”
The following was released by ADOT after the Friday, June 15 meeting:
A major freight corridor in southern Arizona that moves trucks to and from Mexico for produce and other goods will undergo a full build-out of improvements over the next few years now that the State Transportation Board formally approved the funding for the project.
The board approved the two planned construction phases for State Route 189 in Globe on June 15. Other major expansion projects along key commerce corridors including Interstate 17 and US 93, along with State Route 260, were also approved as part of the annual update to the ADOT’s Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program.
The 2019-2023 Five-Year Program includes projects in Greater Arizona and the Maricopa County and Pima County regions. Today’s final approval of the program followed a three-month comment period allowing the public and agencies to provide feedback.
“ADOT’s mission is to provide reliable infrastructure to help move people, goods and services, generate commerce and economic activity, and connect major freight and travel corridors,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “This annual process of delivering key projects is a careful balance between assessing priorities and working within our funding constraints.”
The 2019-2023 Five-Year Program also reaches the department’s goal of allocating at least $260 million per year for preservation of bridges and highways throughout the state highway system. In addition, ADOT has proposed increasing the amount of preservation funding to $320 million per year during the next six to 10 years as part of the recently adopted Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Preservation projects include repaving highways, filling potholes, extending the life cycle of existing pavement, and repairing or reconstructing bridges.
The State Transportation Board’s approval of the Five-Year Program followed a call for public comment in March and three public hearings in Sahuarita, Flagstaff and Phoenix. In general, major projects begin as part of the agency’s long-range visioning process, move into a 20-year plan and a six- to 10-year development program and then become part of the Five-Year Program, which is developed by working closely with local planning organizations and community leaders to identify projects that are ready to build or design.
Funding for the Five-Year Program is generated by the users of transportation services, primarily through gasoline and diesel fuel taxes and the vehicle license tax. Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases that allow for more expansion projects to take place.
The following is a list of major projects for Greater Arizona, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) region and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) region during the next five years. This list provides an overview and does not include all projects in the program. The 2019-2023 Five-Year Program, once published next week, can be found at azdot.gov/fiveyearprogram.
· State Route 189, Nogales to Interstate 19: Total cost is $134 million allocated in fiscal year 2019 for both phases of this design-build project. ADOT is moving forward with these improvements along SR 189 to ensure international commerce can efficiently and safely travel between Arizona and Mexico at the Mariposa Port of Entry, one of the busiest land ports in the United States.
· Interstate 17: Anthem to the Sunset Point Rest Area: This project allows for the design and widening of I-17 in areas between Anthem and Sunset Point, with specific areas and projects still under study.
§ $15 million (ADOT) and $10 million (Maricopa Association of Governments) for design in FY 2019
§ $168 million for widening in FY 2021 and FY 2022 (this includes $128 million from ADOT and $40 million from MAG)
US 93: “The Gap” Tegner Drive to State Route 89: This project will widen a 3-mile stretch of US 93 near Wickenburg to a four-lane divided highway.
§ $5 million for right of way in FY 2019
§ $41 million for construction in FY 2020
· ADOT and city of Flagstaff partnership project: $10.2 million allocated in FY 2020 to expand the Fourth Street Bridge over Interstate 40 in Flagstaff.
· US 93/Interstate 40: West Kingman traffic interchange: $10 million allocated for right of way in FY 2020 for this new traffic interchange in downtown Kingman. Construction is expected to begin in FY 2024 and is projected to cost $55 million. ($5 million was allocated for design in FY 2018)
· State Route 69: Prescott Lakes Parkway to Frontier Village: This partnership project with ADOT and the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization will widen a 1-mile stretch of SR 69 to three lanes in each direction and add safety improvements.
§ $1.3 million for right of way and utilities in FY 2020
§ $8.7 million for construction in FY 2021
· State Route 260: Lion Springs section: This project will widen the last section of SR 260 near Star Valley, reaching ADOT’s goal of completing a four-lane divided highway along the entire length of the corridor.
§ $5 million for design in FY 2021.
§ $45 million for construction in FY 2023
US 93: Cane Springs section: This project will widen a 3-mile stretch of US 93 north of Wikieup and is part of ADOT’s commitment to transform all of US 93 into a modern, four-lane divided highway.
§ $5 million for design in FY 2021
§ $35 million for construction in FY 2023
US 93: Big Jim Wash section: This project will widen a 5-mile stretch of US 93 north of Wickenburg and is part of ADOT’s commitment to transform all of US 93 into a modern, four-lane divided highway.
§ $5 million for design in FY 2023
§ $33 million for construction in FY 2025
Pima County region
· Interstate 10: Ina Road to Ruthrauff Road: $109 million allocated from FY 2020 to FY 2022 to widen the freeway between Ina and Ruthrauff roads.
Interstate 10: Ruthrauff Road traffic interchange: $102 million allocated from FY 2019 to FY 2021 for this reconstruction project.
Interstate 10: Houghton Road traffic interchange: $46 million allocated from FY 2019 to FY 2021 for this construction project.
Interstate 19: Ajo Way traffic interchange: $36 million is allocated in FY 2019 for the second phase of this reconstruction project.
Maricopa County region
Many major projects continue to move forward in the Maricopa County region as part of ADOT’s five-year programming process and the recent update to the Maricopa Association of Governments’ 2040 Regional Transportation Plan. This plan includes updated project costs as part of the rebalancing process. Some of the region’s major expansion projects over the next five years are noted below. The complete list of projects can be found in the 2019-2023 Five-Year Program located at azdot.gov/fiveyearprogram.
· Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway: The 22-mile freeway, which is currently under construction, will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix. Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.
Interstate 10 (Maricopa Freeway): I-17 Split to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Chandler: This project will widen the mainline and includes improvements at the Broadway Curve to help traffic flow more efficiently.
State Route 30 Study: Loop 303 to Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway: Phase One for construction of a proposed new freeway, once a decision is made by the Federal Highway Administration after the environmental study process is complete.
Loop 101 Pima Freeway: Interstate 17 to Pima Road/Princess Drive: Construction of a general-purpose lane in each direction, along with modifying freeway ramps and frontage road connections at 10 interchanges.
Loop 101 Pima Freeway: Pima Road/Princess Drive to Shea Boulevard: Construction of a general-purpose lane in each direction, widening of four overpass structures and other improvements.
Loop 101 Price Freeway: US 60 to Loop 202 Santan Freeway: Construction of a general purpose lane in each direction and other improvements.
Interstate 10: State Route 85 to Verrado Way: Construction of a general purpose lane in each direction along this 8-mile stretch, along with bridge reconstruction at the Miller Road and Watson Road traffic interchanges.
Loop 303 Study: Interstate 10 to the proposed State Route 30: Construction of a new freeway, new bridges and other improvements, once the environmental study process is complete and a final decision is made by the Federal Highway Administration.