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If you have ever driven to northern Arizona, you know the only direct route from the Phoenix area is Interstate 17 (I-17). Recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) announced its intention to make improvements to the highway to increase capacity and safety. But, how exactly will ADOT achieve this goal?

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top government relations firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. ADOT is one of many state agencies we have extensive experience with and are proud to work with on a number of projects. Read our blog post below and learn what the I-17 widening means for our state and future travel up north. 

What is Going Into the Improvement Project?

Back in 2019, Governor Doug Ducey announced his intention to improve the I-17 north of Phoenix. The investments in the project – which exceed $300 million – will widen the interstate to three lanes along a 15 mile stretch from Anthem to Black Canyon City. Additionally, the interstate will feature an 8-mile system of flex lanes between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. 

Why Widen the I-17?

The improvements to the highway have been a high priority for elected officials and infrastructure professionals for many years. On an average weekday, about 25,000 cars travel the interstate; while on weekends that number can easily double. Moreover, if an accident happens on the highway it can significantly delay traffic. 

Doug Nintzel, a spokesman for ADOT, explains, “We’ve always faced this challenge of I-17 in that Black Canyon City region being such a mountainous, winding area and it’s prone to fender benders, to crashes, to even disabled vehicles.” He continues, “It’s going to make a world of difference as we look to things like busy holiday weekends when traffic may come to a standstill, the summer months and summer weekends, the ability to have this extra traffic capacity will make a big difference. Especially if you had an incident out there.” 

The Infrastructure of the I-17 Widening Project

The project will support northbound traffic by addressing key improvements, such as:

  • Adding lanes to achieve three general-purpose lanes in each direction from Anthem Way to north of Coldwater Canyon Road 
  • Adding two flex lanes parallel to the southbound lanes from north of  Coldwater Canyon Road to the Sunset Point Rest Area
  • Improving bridges, drainage, traffic, and roadways to accommodate the proposed widening
  • Relocating or protecting utilities in the corridor
  • Adding intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology to improve traffic flow and the operation of the flex lanes
  • Improving signage

Dorn Policy Group is a Proud Arizona Government Relations Firm

Dorn Policy Group was founded in 2000 on the belief that integrity, tenacity, and client results should be the cornerstones of government relations. We work with all levels and departments of government to ensure the demands of our community and clients are met. We partner with a wide range of industries, including those in transportation, education, energy, healthcare, and many more. Contact us today and learn how we can help you enhance your government relations.

the American flag and the Clean Elections Committee

Have you ever wondered what the Clean Elections Commission is? The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by voters in 1998, is administered by a five member, non-partisan Commission. It established a system for voter education, clean funding for candidate campaigns, and campaign finance enforcement. But what is its purpose?  The Act was created to restore confidence and citizen participation in the election system, as well as improve the integrity of government while also promoting the freedom of speech. 

The Different Clean Elections Programs

The Clean Elections programs consist of many different areas of focus including voter education, public financing, campaign finance enforcement, and the clean elections fund. Let’s take a look at each program separately: 

  • Voter Education: This program consists of a robust voter education plan. Its focus is to educate voters about the logistics of voting. 
  • Public Financing: The Commission provides a public financing program to qualified statewide and legislative candidates. To qualify, they must collect a certain number of $5 qualifying contributions and agree to not accept contributions from PACs and corporations. 
  • Campaign Finance Enforcement: This program allows The Commission to assess civil penalties on both participating and non-participating candidates. 
  • Clean Elections Fund: The voters of Arizona established this fund which consists of a 10% surcharge on all civil penalties and criminal fines, civil penalties paid by candidates, and $5 qualifying contributions collected from participating candidates. 

What Is a Clean Election? 

According to Tom Collins, Executive Director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, a clean election is one where everyone who is eligible to participate, does. If only a small participating group is working to shape the future, it becomes a missed opportunity for improvement. 

To encourage more people to vote, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) focuses on voter education. Voter participation is up during presidential election years and down during off years. Typically, local elections receive the lowest turnout. The CCEC has introduced new tools and services designed to carry voters through the election process from beginning to end. As part of the CCEC statewide debate program, voters will be given the opportunity to ask candidates questions either in-person or online. The public can rely on the CCEC to guide voters through the process of getting to know the candidates to help them assess and cast their ballot. 

How To Register To Vote

Voting is an opportunity to participate in the political process. There are several requirements when registering to vote in Arizona including being a citizen of the United States and being 18 years of age or older on or before the general election date. For the full list of voting requirements and to find out how to vote, click here.

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government relations experience, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. 

Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group, Inc.

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