(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents a coalition of property and business owners throughout Pinal County who have worked to bring new transportation infrastructure to the region.)
By Howard Fischer | Pinal Central
PHOENIX — State senators approved a $17.8 billion spending plan early Wednesday negotiated between Gov Katie Hobbs and Republican legislative leaders as some Democrats agreed to go along figuring it was the best — and only — deal they were likely to get.
The budget includes specific funding for several projects that are important to Pinal County residents. Most substantially, there is $89 million to add to the $400 million already committed to widening Interstate 10 between Chandler and Casa Grande.
It is believed that will be enough to get the project started, though how much more is needed to complete it depends on who’s quoting the price and how many improvements would be included in the final scale. Sen. TJ Shope, R-Coolidge, said the funding would allow the state to apply for $120-150 million in federal money.
The budget also allocates $18 million for improvements to two intersections along State Route 347 north of Maricopa, which has been a headache for commuters since the city was created 20 years ago. The money would go toward the intersections with Casa Blanca Road and Cement Plant.
There is also $5 million for improvements to Sunland Gin Road near Arica Road in Eloy — an area heavy on truck stops that create some traffic congestion for those traveling between Arizona City and I-10 — and $9.2 million for West Pinal Parkway.