Local officials lobby for new I-40 interchange

A new Interstate 40 interchange site at Rattlesnake Wash near the eastern reaches of the Kingman city limits to serve the airport, and continue to Hualapai Mountain Road was shown Arizona Department of Transportation officials and the state board during their visit to Kingman Thursday and Friday.

Transportation Board member Dick Hileman of Lake Havasu City said the Kingman mayor and council requested that ADOT consider the interchange because the city is expected to grow in that direction.

The intersection would route truck traffic directly to the airport and provide access to new homes expected to be built to the east, according to the city council.

Western Arizona Council of Governments Deputy Director Dave Barber said the interchange is needed to provide for growth.

He asked the board to change the requirements for bridge funding to help Kingman find money for the Airway Avenue extension under the railroad.

"The underpass at the airport improved the image of the area and provides good access to the industrial park,:" Barber said.

"It is a good example of what the Airway underpass could do and Kingman needs some funding help."

Supervisor Carol Anderson said the Airway Avenue Extension underpass is needed.

She asked the board to continue pushing for the Hoover Dam bypass, and to support needs in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City stemming from population growth.

ADOT Resident Engineer for the Kingman District Debra Brisk said growth would continue to challenge ADOT in the area.

"The land development proposed in Yucca alone could add 40,000 people," people she said.

"Division of ranches into 40 acre parcels along U.S.

93 is changing the area even as we complete construction."

Barber, Brisk and Anderson all asked the transportation board to study ways to ease traffic congestion at I-40 and Beale Street going north to Las Vegas or to Laughlin.

"The city officials took us to that interchange when traffic was backed up the ramp to the freeway.

It does need help," Hileman said.

Anderson asked the board to recognize that growth creates transportation problems in Mohave County and other rural areas as well as the metro parts of the state.

ADOT Director Mary Peters said the state has about half the money needed and is playing catch-up rather then getting out in front of growth.

A state task force is looking at Arizona transportation needs out 25 years to improve planning, Peters said.

Kingman city officials took the board on a tour of the area and hosted them for dinner Thursday evening.

The transportation board moves monthly meetings around the state to get the local input.

The board held a public hearing in Lake Havasu City 45 days ago.

Kingamn Mayor Les Byram said having Hileman on the board and getting the board to meet in Kingman provided an opportunity to show ADOT local transportation needs and successes.