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Diverse Group Forms For Transportation Improvements Before It’s Too Late
(Casa Grande, Ariz.) A coalition called New Roads and Freeways Before It’s Too Late: Yes on Propositions 416 and 417 has been formed in support of two November ballot items designed to solve Pinal County’s current transportation problems and to keep traffic moving well into the future.
On June 21st the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved placing the measures on the November ballot. Plans call for new freeway and road construction over the next 20 years paid for by a half cent increase in the sales tax. The transportation package and ballot language had been previously approved by the Central Arizona Governments (CAG) association.
The coalition supporting the propositions represents a broad and diverse group of Pinal County residents, business, and government leaders. The Committee is chaired by Pinal County Supervisor and Casa Grande resident Steve Miller. Its Finance Committee Chairman is County Supervisor Todd House who lives in the Apache Junction/ Gold Canyon area; and its Treasurer is San Tan Valley resident and Pinal County GOP Chair Michael Burke.
The Pinal Regional Transportation Authority plan was carefully designed over the past two years to take on a series of traffic challenges that have been confronting Pinal County motorists for years such as inadequate connections from I-10 to local roads and businesses, and north-south and east-west roadways which don’t have the capacity to address current demands. The plan also addresses significant increases in fatal and serious vehicle crashes because of increased traffic demands.
There is a sense of urgency. As Pinal County braces for the next wave of growth, the existing roads and freeways are not addressing current needs. With limited state funds available, Pinal County residents are banding together to solve the transportation crisis before it’s too late.
The transportation plan is comprehensive with projects benefitting communities county-wide. More importantly, the plan addresses regional needs to keep traffic moving from community to community. Indeed, an Arizona Department of Transportation director recently said it would take “800 years” to get to all the state’s transportation needs, including those in Pinal County.
Pinal County Supervisor and Committee Chairman Steve Miller said, “If we don’t act now, our current transportation problems could turn into perpetual gridlock that will bring traffic as well as our economy to a screeching halt. I hate taxes but this one for new transportation infrastructure is one I support. Eight-hundred years is way too long to wait.”
The projects include:
A five mile, east-west, four lane parkway through San Tan Valley between State Route 24 at Meridian Road to the West, and the future alignment of the Apache Junction-Florence-Coolidge-Casa Grande Freeway, eventually connecting to Interstate 10 ( North-South Corridor) to the East.
A 36 mile, north-south, four lane parkway between U.S. Highway 60 near Apache Junction and Gold Canyon to the north, through Florence and Coolidge and the Kortsen Road/Kleck Road alignment located to the south, in the City of Coolidge, connecting to Interstate 10 in Casa Grande.
A new 21 mile four lane East-West Corridor connecting Maricopa and Casa Grande and tying into I-10.
The addition of two lanes along State Route 347 between the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the North, and the municipal boundary of the City of Maricopa to the south.
The Kortsen Road/Kleck Road alignment in Casa Grande involving the widening of this facility from two lanes to four lanes from Henness Road to the West, located in the City of Casa Grande, to the future alignment of the North-South Corridor Parkway to the East, located in the City of Coolidge.
The purchase of right of way, and the design and construction of a Traffic Interchange at Interstate 10, in the City of Casa Grande.
The Selma Highway project which calls for improvements to an existing two-lane roadway from Thornton Road to the West, located in the City of Casa Grande, to the future North-South Corridor alignment to the East, located near the City of Coolidge.
The widening of Thornton Road in Casa Grande from two lanes to four lanes from State Route 84 to the North, to Interstate 8 to the south.
Widening Burris Road from two lanes to four lanes from State Route 84 to the North, to Alamo Road to the South, located in the City of Casa Grande.
Improvements to the Montgomery Road Corridor from the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to the North, located in the City of Casa Grande, to Interstate 8 to the south.
A new road, located in the southern Pinal County community of Saddlebrooke, which would be a one-mile long, north-south, two lane minor arterial roadway facility, alleviating existing traffic concerns.
Widening Peters Road from two lanes to four lanes from Burris Road to the West, to Thornton Road to the East, located in the City of Casa Grande.
Right of way would be acquired to allow for the preservation of future high capacity transportation corridors for the remainder of the North-South Parkway Corridor from the Casa Grande Connector (Kortsen-Kleck roadway alignment) to the North, and Interstate 10 to the South. Also, right of way would be preserved for the West Pinal Freeway corridor, from the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the West, and Interstate 8 to the South.
There would also be local roadway funding for the City of Eloy, and the towns of Kearny, Mammoth and Superior, located in the Copper Basin of eastern Pinal County.
The plan would also help fund Dial a Ride and Park and Ride services county wide.
For a look at the entire plan click here.