RTA's 5-year road improvement prgoress

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All of the current road construction projects you see around town were approved years in advance. Thursday, Pima County officials took planning steps for the projects of the future.

Take a quick drive around Pima County and chances are, most of the road construction you see around town is linked to the RTA.

"The plan is very specific in terms of time schedule, dollar allotment, and it includes roadways, transit, bikeways, walkways, a whole range of projects," says RTA Executive Director Gary Hayes.

But even those RTA projects are just a part of a much larger plan outlined in the 5-year transportation improvement program.

At Thursday's meeting of the pima association of governments, the regional council approved a $500M funding schedule of construction projects that affect the local region.

"So as a federal requirement, we put together this program that shows how regional funds, state, local, and federal funds are gonna be spent for the next five years," says Transportation Planning Manager John Liosatos.

The list of projects includes those funded by the federal stimulus package, by the RTA, and those even funded privately.

"Even a privately paid for project needs to be counted into our modeling so we can understand what impact is has on traffic flow and congestion," explains Liosatdos.

You can call the list a snapshot of the immediate past, present, and future of transportation improvement programs.

Yet, while the list outlines a 5-year plan, it has to be updated each year due to changes in funding for the individual projects.

"We had to adjust them downward because the economy is bad," says Liosatos.

RTA for instance, has three delayed projects that officials say should start this year.

"You get reductions in your sales tax receipts, but you get reductions in your bids and your project bids, and all of that tends to even out, so we think we're pretty much on schedule," says Hayes.

The Pima Association of Governments will begin work on the next 5-year transportation improvement program in about 3 months.