The Arizona Department of Transportation has approved a $41.9-million loan that will allow crews to widen Highway 260 to a four-lane divided highway near Christopher Creek nine months ahead of schedule.
The Highway Expansion and Extension Loan Program (HELP) will accelerate the 5.5-mile project because HELP will allow ADOT to take advantage of a water supply created from snow and rain last winter, rather than drawing water from Tonto Creek as was planned.
Work on Highway 260 will begin in October and be finished in November 2003, according to ADOT.
It is the largest of the five projects in ADOT's five-year highway construction program that will widen Highway 260 between Star Valley and Christopher Creek.
It will include new bridges over Christopher Creek, Sharp Creek and Hunter Creek Road, and four underpasses one for pedestrians and three for wildlife.
ADOT will repay the loan over three fiscal years beginning in 2002. The agency will use state and federal funds budgeted for the Christopher Creek project.
All HELP loans are financed with state and federal highway funds and are repaid with interest.