Did you know most RTA roadway corridor construction projects involve at least three entities?
The projects are a true regional partnership from start to finish.
The RTA’s role
The Regional Transportation Authority, through its voter-approved half-cent sales (excise) tax, helps fund a large portion of project costs on many of the larger roadway projects in the region.
When voters also approved the 20-year plan in 2006, it was projected to raise approximately $2 billion in sales tax revenue for the projects, with other governments adding approximately $400,000 in non-RTA revenue. A project-by-project breakdown is available on page 3 of the Our Mobility brochure, look for “committed non-RTA revenues” in the third column.
The RTA collects the tax throughout Pima County, and the RTA plan is full of projects intended to serve the transportation needs of the entire region.
The RTA releases collected RTA revenues when the member jurisdiction managing a project submits a reimbursement request for work performed on a project. The project manager usually is the city, town or county where the project is physically located.
The RTA also works with the jurisdiction to ensure RTA funds are spent only on allowable expenses, such as those directly related to the new construction. The RTA does not, for example, pay for extra enhancements not called for in the voter-approved project descriptions.
The local jurisdiction’s role
Each project is managed by a jurisdiction in which it will be built. This is clear when it comes to a project that lies entirely within a single jurisdiction, however when a roadway crosses through multiple jurisdictions, then one jurisdiction will be the lead agency.
For example, the Tangerine Road project from Interstate 10 to La Cañada is 10 miles long and crosses the boundaries of the Town of Marana, Pima County and the Town of Oro Valley. The Town of Marana is the lead agency on the project, supported by the Town of Oro Valley and Pima County.
Where a project is split into phases, each phase is managed by the jurisdiction in which it lies. La Cholla from Magee to Tangerine is an example of a project managed by phase. Pima County led the phase from Magee to Overton, while Oro Valley led the phase from Overton to Tangerine. All of the roles and responsibilities for these complicated projects are documented through Intergovernmental Agreements between the jurisdictions and the RTA.
Managing the project means planning, designing and, ultimately, hiring a contractor to construct the roadway, then inspecting and approving the work for public use. Finally, the jurisdiction that owns the road is responsible for maintaining the project after its completion.
The private sector role
Typically, in large road construction work, the physical labor and visible construction is completed by a private construction company that has bid on the project and won the contract with the local jurisdiction that manages it.
This is why you’ll often see construction trucks with the logo of a private company alongside construction work, perhaps even more often than you see trucks with the logo of the city, town or county during the construction project. The private company builds the road to meet the jurisdiction and state standards, using RTA funds.
You can find out more about each roadway corridor project on our projects page, with quick explanations of the status of each project and a link to the more comprehensive project website.