Officials eye stimulus plan, local needs

KINGMAN - Mohave County, Kingman and the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park are waiting to see if they will get a piece of a possible federal economic stimulus package.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the federal government is considering spending $64 billion on about 5,000 infrastructure improvements across the United States.

If the package is approved, it could create more than 1.8 million jobs nationwide with about 35,000 in Arizona.

ADOT already has identified more than $1.3 billion in potential projects to be funded, should the stimulus package be approved.

"We have critical needs in our state and can quickly move forward with more than 100 projects around Arizona as soon as Congress acts. Arizona, like most states, is facing a pressing budget deficit for maintaining critical infrastructure. An economic stimulus package would help us address several of the most timely problems and meet the needs of travelers, commerce and communities," said ADOT Director Victor Mendez.

The Kingman Airport Authority already is on the waiting list, with two projects to reconstruct and build new ramps worth $11 million.

Kingman Airport Authority Economic Director Bob Riley said all the plans and details of the two projects are done and ready to go out for bid. The authority is just waiting to see if the funding is approved, and how much Arizona will get.

The city also is planning to submit on Monday about 18 water, sewer and streets projects for consideration, should the stimulus package be approved, said City Manager Jack Kramer.

"We're working really hard on a list, and other counties are doing the same," said Nick Hont, assistant county public works director.

The county is planning to team up with other counties in the state and push to make sure that the counties get a share of the package.

The state has earmarked $72 million for projects along Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95.

Projects along I-40 include repairs to the Willow Creek and Buck Mountain wash bridges and paving projects near Walnut Creek, Holy Moses and Rattlesnake wash and the east-bound lanes between mileposts 74.5 and 79.5.

Route 95 will be repaved from the bridge to the marina.

Lake Havasu City could see $750,000 from the package for a transit facility.

The American Society of Civil Engineers graded American infrastructure in 2005 and found deteriorating conditions with needs outpacing allocated funds. The ASCE estimated that nationwide infrastructure funding needs totaled $1.6 trillion over a five-year period. While Arizona fared better than some states in the quality of existing transportation infrastructure, highway improvement and expansion remains underfunded.