Billion dollar surplus means more construction projects Valley-wide

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The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) reported a $1.25 billion surplus, which they will use to help bring back some sidelined projects and jump-start some current projects in the regional transportation plan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) reported a $1.25 billion surplus, which they will use to help bring back some sidelined projects and jump-start some current projects in the regional transportation plan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to Hazlett, 15 projects that were essentially put on the back burner in 2009 after the downturn in the economy are now back in play. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to Hazlett, 15 projects that were essentially put on the back burner in 2009 after the downturn in the economy are now back in play. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A little more than $1 billion is about to help Arizona's families get around town easier.

The Maricopa Association of Governments has reported a $1.25 billion surplus which they'll use to help bring back some sidelined projects and jump-start some current projects in the regional transportation plan.

"It's not very often that we have these kinds of good news stories in government that we can say we found extra cash, extra money to be able to help us out," said Bob Hazlett, Senior Engineering Manager of MAG.

It's cash MAG says is a result of a variety of things, including working with their partners like The Arizona Department of Transportation, to really drill down planned project costs and an unexpected increase in revenue.

"Our sales tax revenues, the sales tax that's collected for transportation, has been very strong over the last couple of years and so that's starting to add up," Hazlett said.

More money means more construction.

Hazlett said 15 projects that were essentially put on the back burner in 2009 after the downturn in the economy are now back in play and timelines for other improvements have been moved up.

"The biggest ones are right here on Loop 101, right here on The Loop 202 San Tan, State Route 30 and State route 24," said Hazlett.

The Loop 101 from Pima Road to I-17 is going to be widened with the addition of another lane in both directions.

East Valley commuters will also see some widening on the Loop 202 Santan between Gilbert and I-10, and in the Queen Creek area State Route 24 is expected to help increase access.

For those who live in the West Valley, State Route 30 dubbed as the alternative to I-10, is becoming more of a reality thanks to the surplus.

"We're pulling out all the stops here to make sure we can get these projects underway as quickly as possible," Hazlett said. 

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