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I-10/Cortaro overpass gets boost in new Arizona budget

$10M to help separate cars from train crossing
Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 18, 2024

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — If you drive on Cortaro at I-10 you'll probably be happy to hear this. The new state budget includes $10 million to help get those long, long freight trains out of your way.

If you hit I-10 and Cortaro, at the same time there’s a train, you are in for a wait, but there’s some good news because now there’s money in the state budget to start planning a solution there.

Tara Garagozllo kind of likes seeing trains, but you know, there’s a limit.

“I grew up in a small town so I was kinda used to trains and all that but I don’t think it was like this: constant, every time we’re going there. It’s non stop. It’s like a huge effect on people that live in the area.”

But relief is on the way. When lawmakers passed the new state budget on Saturday, it included about ten million dollars to start planning an overpass that will keep trains and cars out of each other’s way.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea says the three state lawmakers who represent Marana were able to steer about $10 million to the I-10-Cortaro project. That money will pay for planning. Mayor Honea estimates building the whole project will cost about $200 million.

KGUN reporter Craig Smith asked: “Where's that money going to come in from?

Mayor Honea: “Well, about half from the state or a little more from ADOT and about half from the RTA the way we're going right now if RTA Next moves forward. If our RTA Next doesn't move forward, then Marana will probably bond for it. We’ll pay for half and the state will pay for half.”

The end result will probably look like the recent overpass that separates cars and trains at I-10 and Ina. Mayor Honea does not think work will start until sometime in 2026, so about a year and a half away.

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.