Since taking office, she has fought to fix one of Arizona’s‘most dangerous rail crossings’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 27, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — In a major win for Arizona’s Congressional District One, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., has secured a competitive $15 million TIGER VII transportation grant for the city of Maricopa. Since taking office, the congresswoman has fought for the city’s State Route 347 Grade Separation Project, most recently leading a delegation letter to press U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to approve the critical funding.
The $15 million will support Maricopa’s efforts to construct a grade-separated highway overpass on a new alignment at the intersection of State Route 347 (SR347), which Kirkpatrick’s letter to Foxx noted is “one of the most dangerous rail crossings in Arizona.” The project will also construct a double track rail line and relocate an existing passenger station, and will construct rail siding to provide off-main rail line loading and unloading of passenger trains.
“This is a major breakthrough for a project that is needed more urgently now than ever,” said Kirkpatrick, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This is the fastest growing area of Arizona, and the current grade crossing is affecting congestion, school bus routes and overall public safety. Building an overpass is the only way to resolve this dangerous situation, and I am thrilled that Maricopa now has the resources to move forward.”
Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said, “I want to thank Congresswoman Kirkpatrick for her steadfast and persistent efforts in obtaining this $15 million TIGER grant. She has championed this project since she was elected to Congress and has been our strongest advocate and greatest ally. Without her efforts, I am certain this project would not have come to fruition. We can’t thank her enough for her incredible support.”
Urgency for this project has increased along with Pinal County’s rapid growth, which has led to congestion and traffic nightmares at the crossing. In Kirkpatrick’s letter to Foxx, she noted that the crossing also “presents problems for emergency and hazardous materials vehicles that must often sit and wait for trains to pass, or worse, stall traffic for more than 20 minutes as Amtrak loads and unloads passengers at the station next to the crossing.”
The seventh round of TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on a particular region, metro area or the nation. The USDOT had expected at least 800 applications this year, with roughly $500 million budgeted.
In 2014, Kirkpatrick secured a $2.9 million TIGER VI grant for the Hopi Tribe in her district, funding a transportation and infrastructure project for tribal roadways.