In the state of Arizona, fewer than ten entities are certified to self-administer federal funds for infrastructure projects and navigate the NEPA process. All remaining municipalities and counties must have federally funded projects administered through larger agencies such as ADOT. Federalization of the project introduces different processes to be followed, especially for environmental clearance and right-of-way acquisition. These more stringent requirements often require additional documentation to ensure compliance.
In 2020, the City of Apache Junction successfully constructed a 0.5-mile segment of Southern Avenue through the ADOT Local Public Agency (LPA) program. This project followed the ADOT project development process for scoping, design, and construction to buildout Southern Avenue to a full arterial section including bike lanes, sidewalks and curb ramps, and a closed drainage system. This presentation will navigate the challenges of this project and provide a sneak peek into coordinating with utility companies for utility relocations; educating a small, local utility company who was unaware of typical project processes; installation of an underground oil-water separator to meet first flush requirements and eliminate the need for new right-of-way; and maintaining access to a hospital emergency room during a pandemic.