Would you pay higher taxes for better freeways?

Would you pay higher taxes for better freeways?
Would you pay higher taxes for better freeways?

On November 7, 2017, Pinal County residents will be asked to vote on two ballot items that the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, the Pinal County Sheriff and the Pinal County Attorney believe will solve Pinal County's current transportation problems and future challenges.

Prop 416 is the transportation plan, Prop 417 is the funding source and together they would bring in $640 million worth of new roads and freeways in Pinal County.

As is typical with most ballot items, there is some confusion as to which roads Prop 416 and 417 will repair or build.  Many residents when asked about the transportation plan believe that this plan will repair existing roadways in areas such as San Tan Valley.  One resident in Copper Basin believes that this funding would extend Judd to Gantzel so he would have another way out of his community.  Another resident in Ironwood Crossings understood that this funding would extend Germann to Ironwood and still others are relieved that Hunt Hwy is finally going to be finished, if these propositions pass.  

"Pinal County has an extensive transportation plan to address many of the arterial roadways that most San Tan Valley residents are concerned with and those plans are not affected by whether or not Prop 416 & 417 pass", said Pinal County Public Works Director, Louis Anderson. 

With no money coming from state or federal governments to build new roads and freeways however, Pinal County is reaching out for help from its residents and visitors.  "We needs solutions now for our traffic problems," said Pinal County Supervisor Steve Miller. "Prop 416 and 417 will build new roads and freeways in every community throughout the county."  

The new freeways and roadways are intended to get residents east to west and north to south across Pinal County. 

The projects include: (click here for map with projects listed)

  • State Route 24 Parkway through San Tan Valley: A new four-mile long four-lane east-west parkway between State Route 24 at Ironwood Road to the West, and the future alignment of the North-South Parkway to the East.
  • North-South Parkway between Apache Junction/Gold Canyon/San Tan Valley/Florence/Coolidge/Casa Grande and I-10: New construction of a 36 mile, north-south, four-lane highway between U.S. Highway 60 in the City of Apache Junction to the north and connecting to the I-10 via the 14 mile corridor to Kortsen/Kleck Road south of Coolidge to Casa Grande.
  • Selma Highway: A four-lane roadway in Casa Grande from Thornton Road to the west to the future North-South Parkway to the East, located near the City of Coolidge and connecting to Florence, San Tan Valley and Apache Junction/Gold Canyon.
  • State Route 347 in Maricopa: Expansion of the principal roadway from four lanes to six lanes into Maricopa between the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the North, and the municipal boundary of the City of Maricopa to the south.
  • Kortsen/Kleck Road Alignment: Also referred to as the "Casa Grande Connector," this 14 mile project involves the widening of this road from two lanes to four lanes from Henness Road to the West, located in the City of Casa Grande, to the North-South Parkway to the East connecting Coolidge and Florence and Apache Junction/Gold Canyon.
  • I-10 Traffic Interchange: The Kortsen/Kleck Road Alignment in Casa Grande involves a new traffic interchange at I-10 to better facilitate traffic.
  • Cordones Road: The new road, located in the southern Pinal County community of Saddlebrooke, is a 1.5 miles long, north-south, two-lane minor arterial roadway facility to alleviate existing traffic concerns.
  • Thornton Road: Four mile widening of Thornton Road in Casa Grande from two lanes to four lanes, from State Route 84 to the north, to Interstate 8 to the south.
  • Peters Road: Important one mile road improvement in Casa Grande to assist additional "regional" economic development project in a high job growth area.
  • East-West Corridor Between Maricopa and Casa Grande: The 21 mile four-lane project will begin at State Route 347 in the city of Maricopa and extend east through northern Casa Grande to I-10.
  • Montgomery Road: Eight miles of improvements to the Montgomery Road Corridor from the East-West Corridor to the North, located in the City of Casa Grande, to Interstate 8 to the South.
  • North-South Parkway Right of Way: Purchase of additional right of way for the remainder of the North-South Parkway by purchasing 15 miles from Kortsen/Kleck Road to the north to I-10 on the south near Eloy to connect with I-10.
  • West Pinal Freeway/ROW Preservation: Right of way acquisition for the West Pinal Freeway corridor, from the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the west, and Interstate 8 to the south.
  • Superior, Mammoth, Kearney, and Eloy Transportation Projects: Six million dollars will be allocated to each of these smaller communities in Pinal County for local road projects.
  • Dial-a-Ride for Seniors and the Disabled: Provision of annual funding for Dial-a-Ride services to assist people with disabilities, seniors, and members of the general public.
  • Parking Lot Projects: New Park and Ride lots will be constructed to ease commutes.

The projects will be paid for with a half cent sales tax increase, Prop 417, which will allow people visiting or shopping in Pinal County to help pay for the roads. Initially the sales tax was going to be charged on all products purchased, but after push back from certain industries, a compromise was made and the taxes will now only be applied to purchases of $10,000 or less which is estimated to cost the average Pinal County household about 24 cents per day.

If Props 416 & 417 pass, a Pinal County Citizens' Oversight Committee will help make certain the new revenues will be used for the road and freeways projects promised, and completed in a timely manner.

According to the coalition's website, the best way for Pinal County to attract major employers is with an adequate transportation system to ensure the ability for businesses to move goods and services throughout the County. Easing traffic congestion would speed up commutes, improve Pinal County's quality of life, and create more jobs to help Pinal County's economy. Bringing in more economic development could lower property taxes.

"This transportation plan was designed by Pinal County for Pinal County", said Committee Chairman & Pinal County Supervisor Steve Miller. "We can't wait for Washington DC or the State of Arizona to fix our traffic problems.  The time is now."

Election Day: Nov 7, 2017
Register to Vote Here

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