The Arizona Department of Transportation has compiled a lengthy — and pricey — list of projects that could be funded under a federal economic stimulus package, but the East Valley is home to only a few.
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is home to four of these projects, with ADOT officials estimating the construction of taxiways, ramps and a drainage system would cost $27.8 million.
Other local proposals include pavement preservation on State Route 87 from Gilbert Road to Fountain Hills ($3 million), taxiway and drainage improvements at Mesa Falcon Field ($2.1 million) and replacing signs on a stretch of Loop 202/Red Mountain Freeway ($1.15 million).
ADOT released on Thursday a list of dozens of projects statewide costing an estimated $1.3 billion. The agency, like its peers across the nation, is anticipating the incoming Obama administration will shower transportation funding upon the states as a way to jump-start the weak economy.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has identified more than 5,000 infrastructure projects totaling $64 billion. The organization estimated 1.8 million jobs would be created if all the projects were funded.
In Arizona, ADOT said, full funding would result in 35,000 new jobs.
“Infrastructure is a lasting investment,” ADOT Director Victor Mendez said in a statement. “We can improve our transportation network while getting our neighbors back to work on projects that make a difference.”
Because the goal of a stimulus package is to pump money into the economy as quickly as possible, transportation experts have said the projects most likely to receive funding are those that are “shovel-ready.”
ADOT said all its listed projects can be under contract within 180 days.
“We have critical needs in our state and can quickly move forward … as soon as Congress acts,” Mendez said. “Arizona, like most states, is facing a pressing budget deficit for maintaining critical infrastructure. An economic recovery package would help us address several of the most timely problems and meet the needs of travelers, commerce and communities."
The most expensive project on ADOT’s list is an automated people mover at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. For an estimated cost of $166 million, it would connect the light rail station at 44th and Washington streets with the east economy parking area.
Sky Harbor is home to seven proposed projects costing a combined $239.9 million.