New plan would speed up road work in Arizona

| 8/2/2006

Major road construction projects in Arizona could be completed as much as 15 years sooner under a new $307 million fund approved this year by state lawmakers.

Dubbed the Statewide Transportation Acceleration Needs account, the appropriation is intended to address exceedingly congested freeways in the Phoenix area and around the state.

Phoenix-area freeways being targeted for accelerated work include Interstate 17 north of Carefree Highway; Interstate 10 west from the future Loop 303 to state Route 85; and I-10 south from Loop 202 to Riggs Road, The Associated Press reported.

An additional $38 million is available to help urban areas build or improve major highways. The money was approved in June as part of the state’s 2006-07 budget.

Transportation planners at the Maricopa Association of Governments will make the final determination of how funds will be distributed, The AP reported. Their recommendations will be turned in to the state Transportation Board.

Once the projects are identified for accelerated work, the Arizona Department of Transportation will set its schedule to move ahead with road construction.