Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill allocating $400 million towards the widening of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
Senate Bill 1239 was signed on Wednesday, May 4th and will widen the last remaining two lane stretch of I-10 connecting the two cities. The project will turn the 26 miles between Chandler and Casa Grande into three lanes, and will also extend the HOV lanes along the northern part of the project. The Gila River Bridge will also be replaced during the project, and interchanges will be added and improved.
“In the State of the State, we promised that we would invest more dollars to get the I-10 completion leap-frogged to the front of the priority list. Today, we’re delivering on that promise,” Ducey said during a signing ceremony. “This legislation ensures that everyone in Arizona can get to their destination safely and quickly, even as our state continues to grow. We’re not going to have the endless traffic jams you see in cities like Los Angeles, where men and women are stuck in their cars for hours every day.”
Patch News Arizona reports that the total cost of the project could be as much as $1 billion, which would require officials to utilize $700 million in state-dedicated funding. The Arizona Department of Transportation already has $260 million set aside to begin the project. Due to the passing of the bill, Arizona will now qualify to apply for funds from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, aimed at highway improvement projects. If Arizona’s application is accepted, those funds could bring in as much as $300 million for the project.
“Interstate 10 is a critical means of trade among Arizona, our surrounding states and Mexico,” said Tony Bradley, president of the Arizona Trucking Association. “A modern, efficient highway system is needed to get goods and products where they need to be on time. This expansion will allow trade and commerce to grow as Arizona’s economy grows.”
The project is expected to begin in 2023 with the replacement of the Gila River Bridge, and is scheduled for completion in 2026.