Arizona Gov. Ducey announces investments necessary to finish expansion of I-10

© Arizona DOT

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced last week that the state will invest $400 million to “finish the job” and widen I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson.

The investment delivers on a promise Ducey made during this year’s State of the State address this past January.

The segment stretches between Chandler and Casa Grande and is known as the Wild Horse Pass Corridor. It is the last stretch of highway along I-10 between the state’s two largest cities with only two lanes.

“In the State of the State, we promised that we would invest more dollars to get the I-10 completion leap-frogged to the front of the priority list. Today, we’re delivering on that promise,” Ducey said. “This legislation ensures that everyone in Arizona can get to their destination safely and quickly, even as our state continues to grow. We’re not going to have the endless traffic jams you see in cities like Los Angeles, where men and women are stuck in their cars for hours every day.”

The investment is part of the state legislature’s Senate Bill 1239, which allocated money to the I-10 project and will widen the 26-mile segment of road from two lanes to three.

“I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson is a major artery for our state’s residents and commerce,” state Sen. T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge), the bill’s author, said. “Many Casa Grande and Coolidge residents use I-10 to commute to Phoenix for work. This expansion alleviates the pressure on our commuters and our businesses.”

The up-front investment will position Arizona to receive additional federal funds to complete the project, estimated to cost just under $1 billion. The state has dedicated nearly $700 in funding to the project.

In addition to widening to three lanes, the proposed project will extend the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in the northern portion, replace the Gila River Bridge, add and improve interchanges for enhanced mobility, and more.

Arizona Department of Transportation officials anticipate that the improvements will cut the number of crashes in the corridor by half.

“With the passage and signing of S.B. 1239, Arizona has shown its commitment to providing the safest, most reliable transportation system in the nation,” said Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis. “The I-10 is an important economic corridor and with its widening will expand investment and generate additional economic activities within my tribal community, the state, and the region.”

The project is expected to start in 2023, with bridges that carry traffic over the Gila River. Target completion is 2026.