Eloy, AZ

Road work: Grant-funded improvements begin on state Route 87 between Coolidge and Eloy

Jeremy Beren

Courtesy of Pinal County Communications and Marketing

By Jeremy Beren / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Coolidge, Ariz.) — In a Tuesday morning ceremony, Pinal County Supervisors celebrated the start of infrastructure improvements that will be made along a stretch of Arizona State Route 87 passing through Coolidge and Eloy — two cities that roughly 28,000 Arizonans call home.

Three years ago, a portion of Federal Highway Funding was issued to the two Pinal cities in order to upgrade around and leading into the 87. The initiative, officially known as the Inland Port Arizona Improvement Project, would not have been possible without a $15.3 million grant received from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program — also known as "BUILD."

Project design and mapping began in winter 2020, and Federal Highway Administration clearance was granted last September, clearing the way for Tuesday's official ground-breaking.

Among the anticipated improvements will be new pavement, travel lanes, and turn lanes built on an unpaved 1.1-mile segment of Hanna Road between Vail Road and SR-87 in Eloy. A 1.2 mile section of Houser Road between Vail and the 87 is also due for reconstruction and widening, with new travel and turn lanes set to be installed there.

In addition, traffic signals will be implemented at the Hanna and Houser Road intersections. A roadway revamp in the area is expected to include shoulders, drainage mechanisms (such as gutters), and landscaping.

State Route 87 runs north-south over a distance of nearly 300 miles, stretching as far north as the Hopi Reservation in Navajo County. Pinal County is stationed toward the 87's south end, and the highway eventually intersects with Interstate 10 near Picacho.

According to an emailed announcement, the BUILD-IPAZ project in Coolidge and Eloy is expected to be completed in around one year.

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Jeremy is a freelance journalist covering health, energy, labor, and local politics. Reach him at jeremy.beren@newsbreak.com.

Phoenix, AZ

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