Marana has submitted a $58.8 million funding request to the federal Department of Transportation to replace the Tangerine Road interchange at Interstate 10.

The town seeks TIGER discretionary grant funds to "stimulate responsible economic growth, foster connectivity through multimodal transportation, and reduce the impacts of vehicular traffic on the fragile Sonoran Desert environment," its application reads.

Into the future, the Tangerine interchange is "deficient in several areas," won't accommodate predicted traffic volumes, and "will fail before 2015," according to an Arizona Department of Transportation study of the I-10 corridor.

A new interchange would be located about one-half mile north of the existing interchange. It would include a new bridge over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, re-alignment of Tangerine Road on the northeast side of I-10, and conversion of the existing interchange to a local overpass.

At last week's town council meeting, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson credited the staff, and specifically T Van Hook, director of community development, for "putting together a massive amount of information" for the application. "It's a very exciting project, and a very important project," Davidson said.

Development company Westcor wants to build the retail and commercial complex The Shops at Tangerine next to I-10 at Tangerine Road. At Tuesday's meeting, Westcor vice president for development Mitch Stallard called the application "one of the best examples of public/private partnership I've ever seen." He said ADOT "put it at the top of the heap," with one state official calling it "singularly, the most phenomenal application for federal funding ADOT has ever seen."

"If anybody in the state of Arizona is going to get stimulus funds, it's going to be us," Mayor Ed Honea said.

The grant was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday, Sept. 14.

The federal agency has $1.5 billion in stimulus funds available for highway, bridge, rail or port projects, according to Linda Ritter of the Arizona DOT. Project awards are expected in February.

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