The Arizona Department of Transportation approved $36.2 million in funding for the overpass set to cross over the train tracks on State Route 347.
The decision came during an ADOT meeting in Lakeside, Arizona, on Friday attended by Maricopa Mayor Christian Price and other members of the City Council.
The timeline for constructing the overpass would’ve been heavily impacted if ADOT had chosen to allocate the funds elsewhere.
"This is a huge step forward in our countdown to construction of the 347 overpass," Price said. "This means that this project is going to happen. There are many hurdles to still overcome and things will not be built overnight, but this is a win for our city and our partners."
The funding is part of ADOT’s five-year Transportation Facilities Construction Program. This program outlines where the state will invest its funding for the next five years. The decision to fund the overpass reveals the importance of the overpass for the city and state.
“Currently 34,000 vehicles a day use State Route 347 competing with the 60 trains a day traveling the Union Pacific rail line, which creates a significant public safety risk,” Maricopa Assistant to the City Manager Jennifer Brown said in a statement. “The estimated $55 million overpass project will greatly enhance traffic safety, allow better access for first responders and alleviate traffic backups at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing in the city of Maricopa.”
Brown said the project’s funding is allocated in phases. Maricopa is funding the relocation of the Amtrak station as part of Phase I, and ADOT previously agreed to cover all the design and acquisition costs.
The $36.2 million is expected to fully fund construction costs. The city projects construction will commence in 2020.
The city of Maricopa will continue to seek additional funding from partners such as Pinal County and Ak-Chin Indian Community to accelerate the project.