Martinez concerned ADOT ‘has run amok’

Representative Teresa Martinez
Rep. Teresa Martinez speaks to the Maricopa City Council during a meeting in City Hall on June 6, 2023. During her presentation, Martinez spoke about her drive to ensure infrastructure projects are funded and completed on time. [Monica D. Spencer]

Rep. Teresa Martinez wants Maricopa to know she stands by her infrastructure promises. 

In a city council meeting Tuesday, Martinez provided example after example of her commitment to championing infrastructure funding and improvements during the legislative session. This included securing funding for improvements on State Routes 347 and 238, as well as Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. 

Her primary concern for the upcoming session: ensuring appropriated monies stay in place.  

“The number one thing I’m going to be looking very closely at is the funding and how the agencies are spending their money,” she said. 

That includes the Arizona Department of Transportation, which Martinez said “has run amok.” She said that concern emerged from watching $45 million acquired by former Rep. Diego Espinoza (LD 19) for a slip ramp on Loop 101 in Tolleson return to the general fund. 

“For whatever reason, ADOT did not fund that project, and all that money went back into the general fund,” Martinez said. “(It) has got me really, really scared.” 

One of those fears includes potentially losing funds for the planned Riggs Road overpass, money that was acquired by former Rep. Bret Roberts in 2021. According to Martinez, ADOT extended the time of the study to 2025, which she stated is too long and “inappropriate.” 

“What they’re trying to do by pushing back certain projects that affect Maricopa to 2025 is completely inappropriate and I will be fighting for that,” she said. “That’s not going to happen without a fight at the very least.”

Rep. Teresa Martinez smiles as attendees applause at the end of her legislative presentation to the Maricopa City Council in City Hall on June 6, 2023. [Monica D. Spencer]
Martinez said she plans to meet with ADOT and the Arizona Auditor General in June to ensure funding is not lost and projects are completed on time. 

“Nobody is taking our money from us,” Martinez said. “Not for the 347, not for the 238, not for Seed Farm Road, not for the I-10. Not without a fight, tears, bad language and a whole bunch of pretty please.”