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Arizona Transportation

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Transportation DepartmentImage source: http://azdot.gov/
The Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) is a transportation agency that overviews the entire transportation network of the state of Arizona. Many projects are implemented in the Phoenix metro area, south central, north central, far west, southwest and northwest to provide easy access and connectivity across the state. The department provide motor vehicle services, manages the building and operations of highway system, bridges, and also maintains the Grand Canyon Airport. The department strives to improve transportation safety, to provide efficient and economic transportation system. The main transportation system in Arizona consists of roadways, railways and airways.

Road Transportation in Arizona

The road transportation in Arizona consists of car, intercity bus and bicycle transport. The bus services of the state are efficient in providing interstate and intercity connectivity. The Greyhound bus lines connect many cities of Arizona, including Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Flagstaff and also connect with several other states. Phoenix and Tucson are served by several important state routes, interstate routes, freeways and U.S Highways.

Road ways
Image source: http://azdot.gov/

The main interstate routes in Arizona include I-17, I-19, I-8, I-10, I-40 and I-15. “Scenic road” is a commonly used term in Arizona to describe state and federally designated roads.

State Designated Scenic Roads


Arizona has a total of 26 state designated scenic roads. The State designated scenic roads in Arizona are composed of 19 Scenic Roads, 3 Historic Roads and 4 Parkways [1].

Federally Designated Scenic Roads

Arizona has a total of five federally designated scenic roads. The Federally designated scenic roads in Arizona are composed of three National Scenic Byway and two All American Road [2].

Interstate 17: I-17 is a south north Interstate Highway commonly referred as the Black Canyon Freeway and is regarded as one of the most scenic highways. I-17’s north terminus is in Flagstaff, at Interstate 40, built along SR 79 and its south terminus is in Phoenix, at interstate 10, built along SR 69.

Interstate 19: I-19 lies within the United States and is a south north Intrastate Highway. It is one of the shortest primary highways in the United States. The highway connects from Nogales near Mexican border to Tucson at I-10.

Interstate 8: I-8 is a west east Interstate Highway that lies within Arizona and the United States. The highway connects with I-10 in Arizona, just southeast of Casa Grande and runs to southern edge of Mission Bay in San Diego, California.

Interstate 10: I-10 is a major west east Interstate Highway that connects the city of Phoenix, Tucson, Casa Grande, Eloy, Marana and the town of Ehrenberg in Arizona and exits near San Simon. The Highway is part of Maricopa Freeway and Papago Freeway.

Interstate 40: I-40 is a west east interstate Highway. The highway lies within Arizona and connects with California and New Mexico. The major part of the route in Arizona runs along the alignment of U.S Route 66. 

Arizona Transportation Programs and Plans

The Department of Transportation provide various services, including motor vehicle services, driver services, commercial services, driving schools, medical reviews etc. Several projects were implemented to improve the interstate highways and state routes. Some major projects include Phoenix Metro Area Projects, North Central Projects, Far West Projects, Southeast Projects, South Central Projects, Northeast Projects, Northeast Projects. The department of transportation has many long term plans to ensure that Arizona’s highway system become one of the best, convenient and a multi-modal forms of transportation (public transit, pedestrian, bicycle, aviation and train). Some of the notable plans are given below.

Cycling and WalkingfacilitiesroadwaysHighway update Image source: http://azdot.gov/

Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program

Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program manages and authorizes various future projects. The program serves as a draft for all future projects and also manages the funding and budgets of the projects, including highways, transit, airports and highway-support facilities. The program is funded from revenues generated from transportation services, namely gasoline tax and vehicle license tax.

Metropolitan Transportation Program

The Metropolitan Transportation Program is a program funded by the Federal Transit Administration. An agency must meet the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) eligibility criteria to receive funding. The Metropolitan Transportation Organizations (MPO) in Arizona that are qualified fund receivers are the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO), Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization (YMPO), the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) and Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO). The Metropolitan Transportation Organizations receive financial assistance from the Metropolitan Planning Program (MPP) through the states.

5311 Rural Public Transportation Program

The Section 5311 Rural Public Transportation Program is initiated to provide mobility assistance to the people living in rural regions. The program strives to improve the transportation facilities in rural areas. The program is funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The multimodal planning division of ADOT manages the Section 5311 Rural Public Transportation Program and the fund.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Arizona Department of Transportation Bicycle/Pedestrian initiated the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to promote and integrate biking and walking into people’s daily commute to ensure healthy living and check Arizona’s air quality. Several plans are implemented to improve the mobility of cyclists and pedestrians and ADOT also works on educating the community to ensure safe cycling and walking. The program is focussed to make cycling and walking a safer, attractive and convenient mode of transportation. It strives to provide more feasible options to the cyclists and pedestrians by forming a non motorised network comprising of on street facilities, off street facilities and end of trip facilities.

Contact Details:
206 S. 17th Avenue
Mail Drop 310B
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-712-8141
Fax: 602-712-3046
Website: http://azbikeped.org/index.asp

Notable Bridges and Tunnels in Arizona

The notable tunnel in Arizona is the Papago Freeway Tunnel commonly known as the Deck Park Tunnel in Phoenix. The “table” shaped tunnel extends as a part of Interstate 10 and passes underneath Downtown Phoenix. The tunnel is divided into two tubes, each accommodating five lanes of one-way traffic along with two emergency lanes and two backup fans to provide ventilation in the event of fire.

Rail Transportation in Arizona

The rail transportation in Arizona is one of the main mode of transportation that serves as passenger carrier as well as cargo carrier. The Arizona State Rail Plan (SRP) is the first program implemented to manage the entire rail needs of the state. The SRP manages the rail infrastructure, the rail projects and all rail issues to ensure efficient rail connectivity and safe mobility across the state. The railroad also serves as a great tourist attraction as the rail ride is great way to explore the scenic beauty of the state.

Railways
Image source: http://azdot.gov/

Passenger Trains of Arizona

The rail transportation serves the people of Arizona and tourists by providing efficient intercity and interstate connectivity. The major passenger trains include Amtrak (AMTK), Grand Canyon Railway (GCRX), Paradise and Pacific Railroad, Old Pueblo Trolley, Valley Metro Light Rail, Verde Canyon Railroad, Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Superstition Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Amtrak (AMTK)

The Amtrak operate three trains in Arizona, namely the Southwest Chief, the Sunset Limited and the Texas Eagle. The Southwest chief operates from Chicago to Los Angeles via Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams and Kingman and runs along the Route 66. The Sunset Limited runs from New Orleans to Los Angeles via Benson, Tucson, Maricopa, and Yuma. The Texas eagle runs daily from Chicago to Los Angeles via Illinois and San Antonio, Texas.

Grand Canyon Railway (GCRX)

The Grand Canyon Railway is a passenger train that operates from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park South Rim via Arizona. The railway runs along the historic Route 66. The rail route passes through high desert, prairie, and pine. During the holiday season, the Polar Express train travels to the "North Pole" and offer an exhilarating experience.

Verde Canyon Railroad

The Verde Canyon Railroad is a living history railroad that runs from Clarkdale to Perkinsville in Arizona. There is a beautiful railway museum in Clarkdale and also serves as the depot and headquarter of the Verde canyon railroad. 

Valley Metro Light Rail

The Valley Metro Light Rail is a light rail line that runs between the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. According to 2012 estimation, the rail serves 43,310 estimated daily commuters and is ranked as the 12th busiest light rail system in the country [3].

Freight Trains of Arizona

The common freight trains of the state include Arizona and California Railroad (ARZC), Copper Basin Railway (CBRY), Arizona Central Railroad (AZCR), Apache Railway (APA), BNSF Railway (BNSF), Arizona Eastern Railway (AZER), San Pedro and Southwestern Railroad (SPSR), Union Pacific Railroad (UP).

Copper Basin Railway

The Copper Basin Railway (CBRY) is a shortline common freight carrier railroad in Arizona that runs from Magma to eastern Pinal County via Winkelman. The CBRY is used to transfer various types of good , including ore, finished and unfinished copper, Gatorade, plastics, lumber, and military equipments. The CBRY is primarily used for hauling copper ore from the ASARCO Ray Mine to the Hayden Smelter. 


Air Transportation in Arizona


Air transportation
is an essential gateway of Arizona and serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. It is the major mode that offers all round effective intercity and interstate connectivity. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in Arizona. The major airports of Arizona include Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Tucson International Airport , Grand Canyon National Park Airport,Yuma International Airport, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, Prescott Municipal Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Scottsdale Municipal Airport.

Grand CanyonImage source: http://azdot.gov/
tower







Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the largest and the main international airport located in Downtown Phoenix. Phoenix Sky is among the top 10 busiest airports in the world. The airport operates around 1500 flights per day and serves over 100,000 passengers, and generates over $90 million daily revenue for the Phoenix metro area [4]. The airport is the main gateway for Mexican and Hawaiian departures. Some of the major airlines that operate to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport include West Jet, US Airways Express, US Airways, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines.

Contact Details:
Phone: (602) 273-3300
Website: https://skyharbor.com

Tucson International Airport

The Tucson International Airport is the second busiest airport in Arizona located in Downtown Tucson. It is a public joint civil military airport. The Tucson International Airport is a major employer of the state providing nearly 35,000 jobs state wide. TIA operates six airlines currently and serves non-stop service to 15 destinations worldwide [5]. The major airlines that operate scheduled passenger flights to and from the airport include Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways. The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) airport system comprises of Tucson International Airport and Ryan Airfield.

Contact Details:
7250 South Tucson Boulevard
Phone: (520) 573-8100
Website: http://www.flytucson.com

Yuma International Airport

The Yuma International Airport is an airport that serves both commercial as well as military purposes. The Airport is chiefly used for military aviation but operates two commercial airlines (United Express and US Airways) and serves one Medical Evacuation company. The two commercial airlines connects to Salt Lake City (SLC), Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS). The medical evacuation flight is Tri State Care Flight that provides Air Ambulance services to Yuma and the surrounding regions.

Contact Details:
2191 E 32nd Street,
Suite 218,
Yuma, AZ 85365
Phone: 1 (1)928 7265882
Fax: 1 (1)928 3444677
Website: https://www.yumaairport.com/yumahome.nsf

Grand Canyon National Park Airport

The Grand Canyon National Park Airport is the only state owned airport in Arizona located in Tusayan, near Grand Canyon National Park. The airport operates scheduled commercial flights but the airport is chiefly used for charter flights and recreational activities, such as scenic tours. The major airlines that operate to and from the airport include Grand Canyon Airlines, Las Vegas Helicopters, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Scenic Airlines operated by Grand Canyon Airlines, and Vision Airlines. The major destination the airlines serve is Boulder City and North Las Vegas.

Contact Details:
871 Liberator Drive,
Grand Canyon Village,
AZ 86023
Website: http://azdot.gov/about/GrandCanyonAirport

Contact details of Arizona Department of Transportation:

Motor vehicle Enquiries: (602)255-0072
General Non-Motor Vehicle Enquiries: (602)712-7355

Contact Motor Vehicle Division:
P.O. Box 2100 MD 555M
Phoenix, AZ 85001
Phoenix: 602.255.0072
Tucson: 520.629.9808
Elsewhere in Arizona: 800.251.5866
Hearing/Speech Impaired TDD Phoenix: 602.712.3222
Hearing/Speech Impaired TDD Elsewhere: 800.324.5425
Opens on Monday to Friday except on public holiday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please carry your driver license number, vehicle identification or plate number number ready.

Contact Planning:
Mike Kies
Director of Planning and Programming
206 S. 17th Ave.
MD 310B
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602.712.8140
Fax: 602.712.6412

For more information on Arizona Department of Transportation Click here.


References:
  1. State Designated Scenic Roads
  2. Federally Designated Scenic Roads
  3. Valley Metro Light Rail
  4. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  5. The Tucson International Airport
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