ADOT Holds Public Hearing on I-10 Expansion
Oct. 7, 2022
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is working on expanding Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, the state’s largest metropolitan cities. The expansion study plan is to widen the I-10 in each direction, from Loop 202 to State Route 387 near Casa Grande, also known as the Wild Horse Pass corridor to meet the projected travel demand, decrease congestion and improve travel times.
As part of the process for such a project, a public hearing was held at the District 4 Multipurpose Building with ADOT to formally present the I-10 to Loop 202 Wild Horse Pass corridor study plans and provide a listening panel for public comments on Sept. 16.
“There are some very significant changes that’s going to be happening and so it is important that our Community members have the opportunities for them to voice their opinions, their concerns, both for or against,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.
Many consider the I-10 as a ‘Key Commerce Corridor,’ supporting the commercial and economic growth of the region, state, and nation.
The proposed expansion includes the addition of a general-purpose lane in both directions, extending the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-10 from Loop 202 to Riggs Road. This segment provides GRIC with crucial access to public safety, medical, educational, employment, and other essential needs and services.
ADOT’s Project Manager Carlos Lopez provided the project overview and discussed the environmental and alternative processes at the Sept. 16 hearing. ADOT also shared some impacts the development could have within the Community.
ADOT has coordinated with the GRIC Cultural Resources Management Program and Tribal Historic Program and shared the identified impacts on cultural resources, including archaeological sites, Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs), and the Hohokam-Pima National Monument.
A Historic Properties Treatment Plan is in development to minimize adverse effects on cultural resources. Currently, there are no adverse effects to TCPs, and access to the sites will remain.
Environmental impacts are another consideration of the project. Tribal and allotted land, including farmland, would be affected by the new I-10 right-of-way.
Construction could also affect wildlife; however, mitigation measures will be in place to avoid or minimize impacts. In addition, the Community is working with ADOT on design features that allow wildlife to cross beneath I-10.
GRIC, ADOT, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have collaborated and drafted an environmental assessment and design concept for the Wild Horse Pass Corridor project.
The expected cost of the project is a total of $990 million. The state and MAG has allocated $640 million towards the project. As for the residual $360 million, ADOT has applied for a MEGA grant to cover the remaining cost. Acquiring the MEGA grant will secure complete funding for the project, allowing construction to begin promptly.
For more information on the study, including a draft of the design concept report and environmental assessment, visit i10wildhorsepasscorridor.com.