Projects to improve Arizona’s highway system through expansion, preservation and modernization were formally approved to move forward as part of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s annual five-year planning process.
Last week, the State Transportation Board voted to adopt the 2016-2020 Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program. The board’s action determines which projects are now programmed in Greater Arizona, the Maricopa County region and the Pima County region. The process to finalize these projects began in March with a call to the public, stakeholders and local governments to comment online or during three public hearings.
“ADOT and its partners are striving to reduce fatalities, increase mobility and improve the economy by balancing infrastructure needs all while using a funding source that continues to erode due to inflation, fuel economy and alternative fuels,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “While fuel economy and alternatives to gasoline are good for the consumer and the environment, necessary expansion and maintenance of our transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with needs. Appropriate investment is necessary for expansion and maintenance of our infrastructure, not only for safety and efficiency, but also to compete in today's global economy.”
Much like the current Five-Year Program, the newly adopted 2016-2020 Five-Year Program reflects a major focus on preserving the existing state highway system while moving some high-priority expansion projects forward. ADOT must prioritize projects due to continued low revenue from the gas and vehicle license taxes and from decreased federal funding — all of which support the Five-Year Program. ADOT’s continued focus on preservation allows the department to protect its investment of $19.7 billion in the state highway system. Without a commitment to preservation, it would cost approximately $200 billion to replace the system.
Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions in the two metropolitan areas have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases that allow for more expansion projects to take place and for more transportation funding overall.
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 2016-2020 Five-Year Program. This list provides an overview and does not include all projects in the Five-Year Program.