Legislature ponders funding for 4 Maricopa-area transportation projects

Funding for a bridge over the Santa Rosa Wash on Rancho El Dorado Parkway is among four projects that may receive funding from the Arizona Legislature in a $20 million package. [Brian Petersheim, Jr.]

In the wake of Pinal County voters defeating Proposition 469 in November, which would have funded several high-priority highway projects, including widening of State Route 347, all is not lost.

More than $20.3 million has been proposed for the Arizona Rural Transportation Advocacy Council by the Arizona Legislature in Arizona House Bill 2543 that would fund four major highway projects directly impacting Maricopa and surrounding areas:

  • $10.7 million for improvements to Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway from Burris Road to Anderson Road.
  • $3.2 million to Maricopa for Green Road improvements from State Route 238 to McDavid Road.
  • $3.2 million Maricopa for bridge construction on Rancho El Dorado Parkway and improvements in the area of the Santa Rosa Wash.
  • $3.2 million to Maricopa for improvements to Sonoran Desert Parkway from Porter to Fuqua roads.

The Legislature approved funding for improvement of this stretch of Green Road from State Route 238 to McDavid Road.[Brian Petersheim, Jr.]
“All four of those projects are critically important to transportation in Maricopa and Pinal County,” Mayor Nancy Smith said. “I’m grateful to the Regional Transportation Authority for including them in the bill.”

Legislative Dist. 16 Rep. Teresa Martinez, a Republican, who quickly ascended to Majority Whip, said she likes the bill but wants more.

“I support the Rural Transportation Bill personally,” Martinez said. “I also want to talk about timing of the lights on 347 (from Interstate 10 to the Maricopa city line). That would be really helpful. What we don’t want to do is nothing.

“We will ask ADOT if we can adjust the timing of the lights during rush hours to improve the traffic flow. I’ve also talked with the city of Maricopa about doing some runoff ramps that would ease congestion along 347 at those busy times.”

Maricopa City Councilmember Vincent Manfredi, who is a member of the Executive Board of the Rural Transportation Advocacy Council, said funding has been a long time coming.

“As a member of the Executive Board of RTAC, I’ve been working for years to try and figure out ways that we can help rural communities like ours get the transportation dollars needed to bring fixes to our infrastructure,” Manfredi said. “This is a major reason why we push to have our community on these many different (state) boards and committees.”

Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is owner of InMaricopa.