October 17, 2018
For immediate release Contact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020
PHOENIX (October 17, 2018)—A newly approved study will examine potential capacity and other upgrades to Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande, creating a master plan for this corridor that is critical for the movement of commuters and commerce.
The study will be led by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The I-10 evaluation is expected to take about 18 months to complete, including an expected cost and phasing strategy.
Recently, the Gila River Indian Community Council agreed to participate in the study, which will establish an overall master plan for the corridor. The goal is to identify major elements that will need to be improved or replaced, and determine how to provide the necessary capacity to meet current and future travel demand. The bridge across the Gila River and the interchange at Casa Blanca Road are two examples of existing structures that may have to be replaced.
“An important part of the study will be the input of the Gila River Indian Community and its members to ensure that concerns about safety, community access and sensitive cultural resources are respected,” said MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek. Barney added that the economic development activities being pursued by the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority in the northern section of the Community will be considered in the study.
“The Gila River Indian Community is very appreciative of MAG for spearheading this effort and we look forward to being part of the team that completes this study. The Community believes this study will help ensure the safety of the Community’s members and residents of the surrounding municipalities as they travel the I-10 corridor, and promote development both on and off the Gila River Indian Reservation," said Stephen R. Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community.
The study of needed I-10 improvements also will be coordinated with a study being conducted by MAG in partnership with the GRIC for State Route 347, which connects the City of Maricopa to I-10 across the Gila River Indian Community.
MAG has allocated about $65.5 million for improvements to the portion of I-10 in Maricopa County.
Funding for the improvements comes from the voter-approved Proposition 400 program, the dedicated transportation sales tax in Maricopa County. Proposition 400 is the continuation of the regional transportation program that began in 1986 and has funded new and improved freeways, public transportation, and street improvements. Additional funding for the I-10 improvements will be identified by ADOT through its priority programming process.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area. MAG is the regional air quality planning agency and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation for Maricopa County. This includes the Phoenix area and the neighboring urbanized area in Pinal County, containing the Town of Florence and City of Maricopa. MAG provides regional planning and policy decisions in areas of transportation, air quality, water quality, and human services. MAG was founded in the spirit of unity and cooperation. MAG members believe that they can solve common problems, take an active role in long-range regional issues, and address concerns that affect all communities.
The Gila River Indian Community is an Indian reservation in the state of Arizona, adjacent to the south side of the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa counties. Gila River Indian Reservation was established in 1859, and the Gila River Indian Community formally established by Congress in 1939. The community is home for members of both the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee-Posh (Maricopa) tribes. The reservation has a land area of 583.749 square miles (1,511.902 km²) and a 2010 Census population of 11,712. It is made up of seven districts along the
Gila River and its largest communities are Sacaton, Komatke, Santan, and Blackwater. Tribal administrative offices and departments are located in Sacaton. The Community operates its own telecom company, electric utility, industrial park and healthcare clinic, and publishes a monthly newspaper.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is a multimodal transportation agency serving one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. ADOT is responsible for planning, building and operating a complex highway system in addition to building and maintaining bridges and the Grand Canyon Airport. ADOT is funded by the people who purchase fuel, drive or own private and commercial vehicles, or use transportation services. To build and operate the state’s transportation systems, individuals and businesses invest money through fuel taxes, motor-carrier fees and vehicle title, registration and license fees. About 80 percent of the money ADOT collects returns to the private sector in the form of paychecks and payment for transportation services and materials. Transportation puts people to work building projects. Projects, in turn, deliver goods and services that spur economic development and attract jobs to the state, creating a cycle of economic benefit.
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