ADOT to close MVD offices, rest stops to cut costs

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation announced plans on Thursday to shut down 13 highway rest areas, consider closing 12 Motor Vehicle Division offices, defer $370 million in highway construction projects and cut 10 percent of its staff.

ADOT officials say the cuts are needed to close a $100 million budget shortfall.

ADOT Director John Halikowski says more than $500 million in transportation funding has been cut in the past year by lawmakers trying to close a huge state budget shortfall.

The 13 rest areas will close beginning on Oct. 19. Five other state rest areas will remain open.

A review of which MVD offices to close is under way. Saturday hours also will be eliminated on Nov. 1.

ADOT has received $350 million in federal stimulus funding, but state funding for other projects will be cut by $370 million over the next four years.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)