State railroad overpass funding could be approved June 13; construction could start in 2018

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The State Transportation Board recommended Tuesday the Arizona Department of Transportation put the State Route 347 grade separation crossing over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Maricopa in its Five-Year Plan to fund.

This recommendation is tentative and must be approved at the board’s next meeting on June 13 in Wilcox, said ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel.

“The board has not voted to finalize the Five-Year Program yet … Changes could occur to any of the projects listed in the Tentative Program between now and then, so nothing is final at this point,” Krugel said.

If the board gives its approval, “some of the funding for this project would be programmed in the 2015-2019 Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program,” he added.

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said the city has been working toward this for 12 years.

“This is the biggest of all the hurdles to get through,” Price said.

The mayor said if ADOT pays for the entire project, construction would not begin before 2020.

During the board’s study session on Tuesday, Krugel said the discussion on how to possibly fund the $55 million SR 347 overpass project was:

• FY 2015: $5.5 million for design, $500K for right of way
• FY 2016: $5.5 million for right of way
• FY 2017: $7.3 million for right of way
• FY 2020: $36.2 million for construction

If funding is approved by ADOT's board, Price said the city will also invest in the project. He said if the city contributes the $10 million it has earmarked and the Ak-Chin Indian Community contributes a yet undetermined amount, the start of construction could be accelerated to as early as 2018.
 
I think between Ak-Chin, the city of Maricopa and ADOT, I think we will have the funding necessary to make it happen,” Price said.