Rancho Santa Fe Interchange update: Council to look at money saving bridge design change
KINGMAN – Kingman City Manager Ron Foggin updated a major infrastructure, economic development and transportation project at Tuesday’s Council meeting. The best of the mix of news he delivered is that it appears another $10 million in funding is secured for the Interstate 40 Rancho Santa Fe Interchange and Parkway project.
Foggin said the funding is provided within a measure approved by the Arizona legislature that becomes available following passage of the state budget.
On another front, Foggin expressed frustration that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not moving more quickly on a land transfer that is an essential project component.
“We are working extremely hard to get this project through the Environmental Assessment process with the FAA, whose turning in to be my favorite agency. They have put us through a grinder,” Foggin said. He said each time the city thinks its property transfer application is on the verge of approval, a quagmire of bureaucracy keeps asking for more, or different information.
“We have been caught in this terrible cycle of review, edit, submit, silence and then surprise, more edits and more review,” Foggin said. He added that city officials and representatives of the offices of both Arizona senators have met and representatives of the federal agency, are increasing communication and that there seems to be progress in working through the FAA maze.
“Their delays have changed the schedule,” Foggin said. “Where their schedule was July 13, it is now Sept. 5.”
Foggin expressed confidence that the Environmental Assessment process can be completed before Sept.
Foggin reported that the KDP Manager, the city’s private sector partner on the interchange, is in litigation with one of its principals. Foggin did not identify the principal, but said the individual is in a legal battle after being removed from the LLC and that the judge has directed parties to mediation.
Foggin said it is good news, however, that KDP is still investing in the project with a consultant wrapping up a utility plan and pushing ahead with a detention basin.
Council member Jamie Scott Stehly expressed displeasure that staff was considering a design change for the interchange bridge “which made me sick to my stomach.”
Foggin said the design change idea came from an ADOT official who was reviewing plans for another local interchange project. Foggin said he was advised the city might save about $3 million by converting to a column in the middle of the bridge rather than a single span design.
“This is an ADOT suggestion that deserves to be looked at,” Foggin said.
“I am personally, absolutely against that. That was designed that way because of the growth that we expect to see out at the industrial park,” Stehly said.
Council members Keith Walker and Shawn Savage concurred with Stehly.
Foggin said he is not pitching the design change but will bring more information for further enlightenment and council review at a future meeting. “If the council wants to keep it the way it is, fine,” Foggin said.