I-40 work doesn't make the list

Transportation board decides improving stretch of highway around Kingman doesn’t warrant stimulus dollars

KINGMAN - The state transportation board on Friday settled upon a list of 41 shovel-ready statewide highway projects that will receive more than $350 million in federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Meeting in Phoenix, the board decided to move forward with distributing more than $175 million to 28 projects located throughout Arizona's 13 rural counties.

The board had already finalized funding for five projects in Maricopa County totaling $131 million and another eight projects in Pima County totaling $46.6 million at its March 4 meeting, also in Phoenix.

At that time, however, board members were hesitant to sign off on the list of rural projects, preferring to give local governments a chance to voice their opinions on what should or should not receive funding.

Despite this, the final board-approved list was almost indistinguishable from the original, with only one project added to the initial list of 27.

Only one project from Mohave County made the final cut - the lane-widening of U.S. 93 from milepost 104 to 106 will receive approximately $15 million in stimulus funds and may go out to bid as early as this week, according to Arizona Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michele Beggs.

"Safety being our primary goal, that set precedence; and widening that stretch of US 93 certainly takes away chances of head-on collisions," Beggs said. "It's a safety issue for our motorists, essentially."

Following the board's March 4 meeting, Kingman City Manager Jack Kramer had expressed concern that a $17 million pavement preservation project on Interstate 40 from Holy Moses Wash to Rattlesnake Wash had failed to make the list of top funding priorities. Kramer had vowed to speak to board member Bill Feldmeier, in hopes of convincing him of the project's local importance.

But Kramer was not disappointed as he flew back from Phoenix Friday afternoon, saying he had recently learned that the I-40 repaving was already on the ADOT's five-year plan and would likely go out to bid later this year - a fact Beggs confirmed.

"It was programmed. I don't know when it's going to go out for advertisement, but it is part of the program," she said. "It's certainly a priority for us, and it's on the list to be done."