Yuma road options: Preserve now or replace later
The Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization will have to decide whether it wants the state to focus on preservation or replacement of roadways and bridges.
The YMPO executive board reviewed three scenarios being offered by the Arizona Department of Transportation for possible inclusion in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Charlene FitzGerald, YMPO executive director, said ADOT will discuss the scenarios during a “rural consultation” April 25 at the Yuma Main Library.
According to a presentation by Scott Omer of the ADOT Multimodal Planning Division, the STIP will demonstrate how federal and state dollars will be spent for the next five years, through 2018.
The plan, which needs to be approved annually, “must be fiscally constrained,” Omer said.
The choice comes down to “spend(ing) one dollar now on preservation … or five dollars down the road for replacement.”
According to the presentation, Scenario A focuses on preservation and maintains acceptable interstate highway pavement quality to 2031.
This plan includes one major project, 81 preservation projects (2014-2016), 39 bridge projects and 690 miles of pavement projects. Preservation for this option would cost an average of $184 million per year.
Scenario B focuses on major construction projects, including two in Yuma County, while maintaining “acceptable” interstate highway pavement quality to 2017.
This plan includes nine major projects (2014-2017), 25 bridge projects (2014-2016) and 458 miles of pavement projects. Preservation for this option would cost an average of $142 million per year.
Yuma County projects that would remain in the program are the U.S. 95 Fortuna Wash Bridge at a cost of $13.5 million and the I-8 Mohawk Rest Area at a cost of $20 million, both for fiscal year 2015.
Scenario C focuses on both preservation and major projects, with one Yuma County project still in the program and the other deferred. This option maintains “acceptable” interstate highway pavement quality to 2021.
The plan would include four major projects (2014-2017), 39 bridge projects (2014-2018) and 524 miles of pavement projects. The preservation cost would be an average of $149 million per year.
The U.S. 95 Fortuna Wash Bridge project would remain in the program, but the I-8 Mohawk Rest Area project would be deferred to another time.
The ADOT will adopt the final plan at a May state board meeting in Flagstaff, FitzGerald said.
At a May meeting in Flagstaff, the ADOT board will hold a public hearing to receive input on the three options under consideration, but no action will be taken. The state board will consider and take formal action on the transportation plan at its June meeting in Pinetop-Lakeside.
The YMPO board will choose a preferred option at the April meeting and convey its preference to the ADOT board with a resolution.
YMPO board chairman Greg Ferguson asked FitzGerald to prepare the resolution for the next meeting, since it will be the last chance to do so before ADOT adopts the plan. In April, the board members will vote on their preferred scenario and fill in the resolution.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.