It was a busy week at the state Capitol. We’ll recap all the week’s top stories.
ADOT Revives North-South Corridor Exploration
The Arizona Department of Transportation revived a study of a route to connect Maricopa and Pinal County by a so-called North-South Corridor.
The 40-mile project would bridge the gap between the US 60 and the I-10. An environmental review study has been on hold for more than a year because the state couldn’t provide the required funding.
A different type of environmental review, a tiered review allows the state to break the study into chunks and does not require proof of funding for additional studies and construction.
“It allows us to keep the process moving while we continue to identify funding sources,” ADOT spokeswoman Laura Douglas said.
The department will build on research already done on environmental and cultural resources. The end result will be a corridor selection report that outlines several routes for the road and the option to not build at all.
Pinal County Principal Planner Andrew Smith says the area’s population has grown steadily.
“On that northern end, there’s certainly a need for a higher capacity facility than just the local streets that we’re trying to build,” Smith said.
Pinal County created a Regional Transportation Authority that makes a North-South Corridor one of its priorities.
The first step of the new process is expected to finish up in 2019. Funding for this portion of the study was included in the original $7.8 million budget.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to remove an incorrect map.