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ADOT continuing to gather public feedback for Long-Range Transportation Plan

Posted at 12:42 AM, Mar 03, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Thursday ADOT continued its series of meetings throughout the state to gather public input on its Long-Range Transportation Plan.

The plan provides a blueprint for the state’s transportation system over the next 25 years and is updated every five years.

The most recent version of the plan from 2017 shows nearly $100 billion is needed for Arizona’s transportation system through 2040.

Jason James is the project manager for the long-term transportation plan. He said the feedback they get from the public will be valuable in determining how funding will be spent.

“We want to make sure that before we make big decisions with our revenue and where our revenue is going for the next five years,” he said. “That we’re hearing what the public is feeling. What they prioritize, what they’re thinking.”

More than $53 billion is projected for maintaining the state’s highways through 2040 including talks of building I11–a mega project that some locals hope never sees the light of day.

“I want to make sure they don’t consider new freeways,” said Tucson resident Carolin Campbell. “Freeways are kind of an old-fashioned idea and they’re talking about a new freeway out west.”

The $53 billion needed for highways through 2040 is more than three-and-a-half times as much as the second focus on the list: Public Transit ($14.8 billion). The remaining items are aviation ($14.4 billion), operations & maintenance ($8.7 billion), passenger rail ($6.2 billion) and bicycle & pedestrian ($900 million).

Instead, some believe the state needs to prioritize funding on the local level as much as it does on the state level.

“Tucson’s existing street system is falling apart and everybody knows that,” said Dave Devine, who’s lived in Tucson for 40 years.

Campbell added that “I think probably the best thing ADOT can do with the state money is get it to the local communities.”

James said they hope to finalize the plan by July followed by full adoption in August.

Information on the remaining public meetings can be found here.