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In 2015, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors established the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority (PRTA) as a public improvement and taxing subdivision of the State of Arizona to coordinate multi-jurisdictional transportation planning, improvements, and funding. This is an entity authorized and defined in Arizona Revised Statutes Title 48 (Special Taxing Districts), Chapter 30 (Regional Transportation Authority).
The PRTA is comprised of members from Pinal County plus municipalities and tribal nations within the county. This organization developed a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that was taken to the voters in a November 2017 Special Election. The voters of Pinal County approved both the RTP and a 20-year half-cent sales tax to fund the transportation improvements contained in the plan. The sales tax was expected to bring $640 million in revenues to implement the plan over a 20-year period.
The RTP includes 13 named roadway projects, allocations for local road projects in four communities, and $20 million for its Public Transportation Element, including transit existing operations, dial-a-ride services and park-and-ride lots. The plan also includes funds for PRTA administration, accounting for about one percent of the total program costs.
A lawsuit contesting the legality of the tax was filed in January 2018, but tax collection was nevertheless allowed to begin on April 1, 2018. Now, three and a half years later, $72 million has been accumulated, increasing by an average of $2 million per month, as the PRTA awaits an Arizona Supreme Court decision to free the funds for their voter approved use.
Pinal County and the cities of Casa Grande and Maricopa are the lead agencies for the 13 named roadways projects which account for $591.2 million, or roughly 90 percent of total PRTA allocations in the plan. Several of these projects are on State Highways, and thus will require close coordination with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
The 13 named projects approved by the voters, grouped by scheduled five-year phases over 20 years, are listed below. Some of the roadway projects are more than 20 miles long and their implementation will continue through multiple schedule phases.
- North-South Corridor right-of-way preservation, Kortsen/Kleck Road alignment south to Interstate 10
- Thornton Road, State Route 84 to Interstate 8
- Peters Road, Burris Road to Thornton Road
- East-West Corridor, SR 347 in Maricopa to I-10 in Casa Grande
- Cordones Road, Catalina Hills Drive to Coyote Trail (Saddlebrooke)
- State Route 347, City of Maricopa northern limits to Maricopa County Line
- I-10 Traffic Interchange at Kortsen/Kleck Roads
- Kortsen/Kleck Roads, Henness Road to future North-South Corridor
- State Route 24, Ironwood Drive to future North-South Corridor
- North-South Corridor, US 60 to Kortsen/Kleck Roads alignment
- West Pinal Freeway right-of way preservation, Maricopa County line to Interstate 8
- Montgomery Road, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to East-West Corridor
- Selma Highway, Thornton Road to North-South Corridor
Click on the link to see a map of the planned roadway projects.
In September 2021, the PRTA Board approved a five-year transportation improvement program (TIP) that will get RTP implementation underway with $115.8 million of PRTA allocations plus $72.3 million in local non-PRTA funds.
Click on the link to view the approved PRTA TIP for fiscal years 2022 to 2026.