Federal funding arrives in Arizona for bridge repairs

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PHOENIX – $45 million is on its way to Arizona for bridge repairs.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office recently listed 130 bridges across the state that are in line to receive federal funding from the recently passed federal infrastructure bill.

At least five of the bridge projects are in Maricopa County, including Loop 202 at SR 143, one at Shea Boulevard, and the Indian Bend Wash near Paradise Valley.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nick says they are eager to receive all the federal dollars they can get.

“We look forward to any new sources of funding in terms of highways and bridges of course,” Nick said.

In the meantime, he wants to reassure motorists that their current bridges are safe. The condition of bridges is classified according to a three-level system: poor, fair and good.

“The good news is that in Arizona, the ADOT inventory is in very good condition because technically it is good or poor, and we only have less than 1% of the bridges in the ADOT inventory that are considered to be in good condition. bad condition,” Nick said.

“People need to know that when we say ‘bad condition’ it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. Any part of our infrastructure that’s unsafe we ​​will shut down and repair immediately.”

Nick says some of the ADOT projects on Senator Sinema’s list have already been upgraded, but says that could be due to late updates to their database.

“When it comes to data, a database that is in a government entity sometimes has a different timeline than ours,” he said.

He says they are currently in the process of determining which bridge projects are higher priorities and applying federal infrastructure funds. But it is still too early to name specific projects.

“It’s a process. It’s still in its early stages and we’ll be talking with our federal partners and making sure that any resources we get go to the infrastructure that needs them,” Nick said.

Business owner, Tom Digiam Batista, drives 30,000 miles a year for his business, Accent by Masters Window Film.

He crosses bridges every day in both rural and urban areas, but he frankly sees regular road construction as a bigger problem.

“I see a lot of things slowing down and clogging up traffic, and some areas are worse than others of course,” he said.

But Batista says even he wouldn’t turn down infrastructure funds if federal authorities made them available.

“Especially federal dollars. I would use them, no matter what it does to my city, just because you want to take advantage of them.”

ADOT says they are working as quickly as possible to get through the bureaucracy needed to secure federal funds.

“A large portion of the funding, 15% is to go to what are called ‘off-system bridges’, which means they can be involved in an ADOT route but are owned by a city or county or something like that,” Nick said. “That money is divided by a long-standing formula that 33% goes to Maricopa County, 17% goes to Pima County, and the rest, about 50% goes to greater Arizona, overseen by the Transportation Board of the state.” he said.

Bottom line, he says, “drivers should be happy knowing the bridges are in good shape,” Nick said.

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