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Federal government grants Arizona $95 million for I-10 widening

Arizona has been awarded a $95 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation to widen a 26-mile stretch of Interstate 10. 

The federal grant will help relieve congestion between Chandler and Casa Grande. That’s the only remaining stretch of the interstate between Phoenix and Tucson that hasn’t been improved. 

Officials say the extra lane will eliminate a bottleneck in the freeway that leads to notorious congestion. 

The complete I-10 widening project will cost an estimated $1 billion, most of which is due to be paid for with state funding. More than $200 million for the project is coming from the Maricopa Association of Governments, but the rest of the money is budgeted for by the state — unless the federal government provides more funding. 

Arizona politicians hoped to receive a substantial federal grant for this project last year, but it wasn’t chosen. 

Politicians on both sides of the aisle celebrated the announcement on Monday. 

"This federal grant will help make the dreaded rush hour drive through my district a little less painful and will help support the economic growth our state continues to enjoy from the Republican policies implemented over the last Decade,” Sen. T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) said in a statement.

He gave credit to Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis for his work on the application process.

“When we learned last year that Arizona would not be receiving a federal grant for this project, I immediately contacted Governor Hobbs, and together we rolled up our sleeves and got this new grant proposal together. … We presented it together to Secretary Buttigieg, a first in our State, and probably in the entire country,” Lewis said in a prepared statement.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.