ADOT studying possibility of toll road for I-10 alternative

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It is a common complaint among drivers who commute to or from the West Valley on Interstate 10. During rush hour, the freeway becomes congested.  (Source: KPHO/KTVK) It is a common complaint among drivers who commute to or from the West Valley on Interstate 10. During rush hour, the freeway becomes congested.  (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The proposed six-lane freeway would go in south of I-10 and run parallel to it from the Loop 303 to the new 202 South Mountain Freeway. Right now, there are still several possible alignments under consideration. (Source: ADOT.gov) The proposed six-lane freeway would go in south of I-10 and run parallel to it from the Loop 303 to the new 202 South Mountain Freeway. Right now, there are still several possible alignments under consideration. (Source: ADOT.gov)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

No one likes to sit in traffic, but would you be willing to pay to avoid it? Well, you might get that chance. The Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at the possibility of a toll road in metro Phoenix.

"Traffic here is horrible, horrible," said driver Roxanne Hider.

It is a common complaint among drivers who commute to or from the West Valley on Interstate 10. During rush hour, the freeway becomes congested. 

"We need an alternative," driver Doug Cunningham. "I-10 -- as you know, I've lived here my whole life --  is overcrowded so we need to have some other way of getting traffic around."

There is an alternative; it just has not been built yet. It's called State Route 30

The proposed six-lane freeway would go in south of I-10 and run parallel to it from the Loop 303 to the new 202 South Mountain Freeway. Right now, there are still several possible alignments under consideration.

"That's a pretty good stretch," Hider said.

State Route 30, while on the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) long-term Regional Transportation Plan, is on the back burner, lacking a start date and secured funding.

ADOT, in an effort to speed the project along and help fund it, is studying the possibility of making it a toll road, which would be a first in Arizona.

"I think it's very interesting that we've never seen one here, ever in this state," Cunningham said.

Drivers we talked to all felt their time was valuable but they had mixed reactions to a paying toll.

"In California, you try to avoid them, so I think the thing would be just to avoid it all together," Martin Ortega said. "I don't think it makes sense out here."

"I would pay, yeah, if it keeps me from being stuck in traffic. Most definitely," Hider said.

ADOT's director sent a letter to MAG outlining steps the department is taking "in hopes of accelerating the SR 30 timeline and perhaps expanding its scope from SR 85 all the way to the Durango Curve."

In an email, a spokesperson said, "The traffic and revenue analysis it mentions is what would determine whether a public-private partnership with a tolling component could provide enough revenue to advance the project."

That analysis the spokesperson said the study will take approximately six months to complete.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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