Photo courtesy of Pinal County
by Blake Herzog
Construction formally began on $18.1 million of road improvements supporting the Inland Port AZ (IPAZ) development with a June 27 groundbreaking ceremony
at the border of the cities of Coolidge
Construction or reconstruction of two roads is expected to be completed in less than a year.
This project has been in the works since early 2019 when Pinal County was awarded $15.4 million through the federal BUILD Act to improve access to IPAZ, a planned industrial and commercial hub aiming to use freeway and rail access to position it as an alternative to congested coastal ports.
Shortly afterward, Saint Holdings announced the first land sale within its 1,600 acres there to Nikola Motors.
The budget also includes $2.7 million in local funding from the county, Coolidge and Eloy.
The project includes multiple components to improve vehicular access to IPAZ, including:
• Construction of a two-lane paved road along Hanna Road for 1 mile between State Route 87 and Vail Road, where it is currently a two-lane paved road. Additional drainage infrastructure will be installed, along with a railroad crossing signal with gate arms at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Hanna runs along the northern border of the IPAZ site.
• Replacement of Houser Road’s two-lane stretch between SR87 and Vail Road with a paved three-lane segment, to include a left-turn lane. Drainage will be upgraded and
the signalized crossing with a
gate arm at the Union Pacific railroad tracks will remain as is. Houser forms the southern border of IPAZ and provides access to the Nikola factory.
• The intersection of SR 87 and Houser will be upgraded with
left- and right-turn lanes and a
new traffic signal.
Now that construction has begun, officials hope to wrap it up relatively quickly.
“Probably in the April/May time frame we’re going to be standing on a paved road,” Celeste Garza, assistant Pinal County engineer, said during