Arizona gets $95M federal grant to bolster $1B Interstate 10 expansion project

Jan 23, 2024, 10:00 AM

Traffic backs up on Interstate 10 in Arizona...

Arizona received a $95 million federal grant to cover part of a $1 billion project to widen an Interstate 10 bottleneck south of Phoenix, officials announced Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona received a $95 million federal grant to cover part of a $1 billion project to widen an Interstate 10 bottleneck south of metro Phoenix, officials announced Monday.

The INFRA Grant Program funding will go toward expanding a 26-mile stretch through the Gila River Indian Community between Chandler and Casa Grande to three lanes in each direction. It’s the only section of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson that is still only two lanes each way.

“ADOT is excited to receive this funding and to work on this critical project,” Arizona Department of Transportation Director Jennifer Toth said in a press release. “The federal grant dollars are critical for expanding the principal roadway between Phoenix and Tucson.

“The project will deliver the best infrastructure to improve drive times and enhance safety. We thank the Gila River Indian Community for their tremendous partnership and collaboration, along with our federal, regional and local partners.”

How is the rest of the I-10 widening project being funded?

The state is providing $692 million for the project, and the Maricopa Association of Governments is adding $221 million from the Proposition 400 regional transportation sales tax fund, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office.

“The I-10 serves as a major connector for the entire state, and I am thrilled to announce that we have secured the funds necessary to ensure it remains a gateway for generations to come,” Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said in a press release. “By securing this investment, we are not only improving our state’s infrastructure, we are propelling Arizona’s economy forward, ensuring a prosperous future for all.”

Most of the state funding, $400 million, was allocated through legislation signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, in 2022.

What was the reaction to news of $95 million grant?

Arizona leaders from across the political spectrum celebrated the federal grant news. Here’s a selection of the statements released Monday:

U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, a Valley Democrat: “When we passed our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, it was with projects like widening the I-10 in mind. Tens of thousands of people — and millions of dollars in commercial goods — travel along the I-10 every day, and anyone who’s driven it will tell you two lanes are just not enough.”

U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani, a southern Arizona Republican: “The I-10 is a critical artery between Tucson and the rest of the state, serving as vital infrastructure for commercial, recreational and freight activity alike. These funds will be transformational for this major corridor for our state and region – facilitating international trade and commerce, tourism and more. This grant funding will allow for the critical widening needed on one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in Arizona.”

Republican state Sen. T.J. Shope: “This federal grant will help make the dreaded rush hour drive through my district a little less painful and will help support the economic growth our state continues to enjoy from the Republican policies implemented over the last decade.”

Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis: “The historic and unique tribal, state, federal and county partnership paved the way for a sustained commitment by all parties that led to today’s announcement. I look forward to ensuring this partnership continues so the improvements to the I-10 can occur in an efficient and timely manner that takes into account the safety of the Community.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly: “This project will reduce congestion, improve shipping, and make I-10 safer. This investment — one of the largest ever in transportation infrastructure in a tribal community — will be a game-changer for the Gila River Indian Community and is a testament to the leadership of Gov. Lewis.”

Independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: “I promised Arizonans I’d do the hard work to deliver real results, not lip service. Today’s investment is one of many more to come for Arizona from my Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego: “With the billions of dollars we delivered already pouring into Arizona, this historic project is set to be a boon to our state’s economy. Because of reliable partners, including Gov. Hobbs and Gov. Lewis, this project will soon be a reality.”

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Arizona gets $95M federal grant to bolster $1B Interstate 10 expansion project