Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Awards Arizona $75 Million for Infrastructure

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Awards Arizona $75 Million for Infrastructure

By Corinne Murdock |

On Thursday, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Tucson and Phoenix, announcing over $75.2 million in grant awards for communities throughout the state.

“[These are] improvements that are going to make for better travel and better safety here in Tucson and in Phoenix,” said Buttigieg.

These Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants were awarded to Navajo County, Phoenix, Tucson, and the Colorado Indian River Tribes.

Over $2.2 billion from 166 RAISE Grants were distributed throughout the country. Arizona communities received five different grants: $261,000 to Navajo County to improve 16 miles of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure; $25 million to Phoenix to construct a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Rio Salado River; $25 million to Tucson to renovate an old bridge; and nearly $25 million to the Colorado Indian River Tribes to reconstruct 10 miles of road.

The DOT characterized this latest round of grants as their largest investment in RAISE Program history. 

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02) explained in a press release that the Tucson grant will update the 22nd Street bridge to accommodate heavy vehicles like trucks, buses, and emergency medical services — something the bridge was unable to do before, which Kirkpatrick said led to traffic congestion and delays.

“Increasing capacity on 22nd street will reconnect our communities and facilitate a necessary east-west economic and transportation corridor between downtown Tucson and disconnected and underserved areas in the city,” said Kirkpatrick. “This project will help close the gaps in our city’s transportation infrastructure, and support equitable access to resources and opportunities for all Tucsonans.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego shared that the $25 million for a bridge over the Rio Salado river would connect downtown Phoenix to South Phoenix. Gallego provided a map of the planned bridge location, which revealed that the bridge would span the Rio Salado River and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, going from Central Avenue to State Route 143.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.