Interstate 10 is now three lanes in both directions between Casa Grande and Tucson./YouTube
By Stacey Barchenger | Arizona Republic
Commuters, rejoice: A much anticipated plan to widen Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson took a major step after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a measure Wednesday dedicating $400 million to the project.
The funding allows the state to tap into a federal infrastructure grant that, along with other taxpayer dollars, will cobble together the estimated $990 million price tag to widen the interstate to three lanes in both directions for the 26-mile stretch between Chandler and Casa Grande.
Assuming the funding comes together, the project is expected to begin next year and could finish by 2026.
Ducey quickly signed the funding bill just two days after lawmakers sent it to his desk. In doing so, the two-term governor achieved one of his key goals for his final year in office.
“Commuters, vacationers and commerce rely on modernized roads for efficiency and safety,” the governor said during a bill signing ceremony. “This legislation ensures that everyone in Arizona can get to their destination safely and quickly, even as our state continues to grow.”
The $400 million comes from the state’s bank account during the budget year that begins July 1. Doing so allows the Arizona Department of Transportation to seek a $300 million grant through the Biden administration’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that became law late last year. Already, $290 million in state and federal dollars were earmarked for the project, and some funding comes from a half-cent sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
“The I-10 is an important economic corridor, and with its widening will expand investment and generate additional economic activities within my community, the state and the region,” Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said.
In addition to widening the interstate, the project will replace bridges over the Gila River and improve traffic interchanges along the route, according to ADOT.