Investment will fully fund the Winslow Levee Project, helping safeguard Arizona families and jobs
WASHINGTON – $82.8 million will be invested in Arizona water systems and environmental infrastructure in 2022 from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly.
Today’s funding will support 13 water and environmental infrastructure projects across Arizona, including providing $65.75 million for the full funding of the Little Colorado River Flood Control (Winslow Levee) project in Winslow, AZ. The Winslow Levee has been decertified since 2008 and is a danger to the surrounding communities and a key rail line that moves billions of dollars of goods through Arizona each year. With today’s investment announcement the Winslow Levee will protect the town of Winslow against flooding that could harm Arizona families and Arizona jobs, and disrupt supply chains through the country.
“Today’s historic funding from our bipartisan infrastructure law invests immediately in projects across our state, including the Winslow Levee, safeguarding Arizona communities and jobs from dangerous flooding and other environmental disasters,” said Sinema.
“Our bipartisan infrastructure law is going to help kickstart a variety of critical waterway projects across Arizona, including the Winslow Levee, which protects a critical link for West Coast supply chains and is in dire need of repairs,” said Kelly. “I look forward to working closely with local Arizona leaders to ensure every dollar allocated goes towards projects that will help keep our communities safe from flooding and support continued growth.”
“We are extremely excited to receive $65.75 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) work plan from the Army Corps of Engineers. Let me be clear: this day would not be possible without Senators Sinema and Kelly’s leadership and support of this once-in-a-generation infrastructure package that they shepherded through Congress with strong bi-partisan support. With this funding, we can complete this project and jumpstart the Winslow economy by protecting life, health and property,” said Winslow Mayor Roberta “Birdie” Cano.
“Navajo County is tremendously grateful for Senators Sinema and Kelly’s leadership in helping us make history happen in Winslow, Arizona. Thanks to Senators Sinema and Kelly’s leadership in pushing through the IIJA, permanent flood control protection will soon become a reality. I am gratified that Winslow levee construction will provide critically needed life safety protection and will also relieve Winslow’s residents and businesses of burdensome flood insurance requirements. But as a member of the Navajo Nation, I am especially gratified that the $65.75 million that Senators Sinema and Kelly and our other congressional leaders have helped secure for us will provide a measure of justice for Navajo relocatees whom the federal government forcibly relocated into Winslow’s flood plain,” said Navajo County Supervisor Alberto Peshlakai.
Sinema led bipartisan Senate negotiations with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that included Senator Kelly and senators from both parties. In December, Kelly and Sinema wrote to Army Corps leadership supporting the full funding of the Winslow project.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law invests $8.3 billion in building and strengthening water infrastructure throughout the American West, including for aging infrastructure, water storage and conveyance, water recycling and reuse, desalination, drought contingency plans, and dam safety.
In addition to funding the Little Colorado River Flood Control Project, today’s announcement also provides significant funding for a new Arizona-specific water infrastructure program, which was created in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020, which was championed by both Sinema and Kelly. As a part of this new program, Arizona cities and counties can receive Army Corps funding which covers up to 75 percent of the cost of any water or wastewater infrastructure project.
The projects funded under this new Arizona Water Infrastructure program within the Army Corps’ 2022 spend plan are:
- $3.5 million for construction of a waterline in Maricopa;
- $3 million for construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the Middle Verde District of the Yavapai-Apache Nation;
- $2.25 million to make wastewater treatment plant improvements in Buckeye;
- $2.25 million to install backup generators for Pima County’s water reclamation facility to ensure its continuous operation;
- $2.25 million to install reclaimed water pipeline and rehabilitate existing infiltration gallery at the Queen Creek Restoration Project in Superior;
- $1.5 million to construct the WF Killip Elementary School Regional Flood Detention basin in Flagstaff to mitigate post-fire flooding in the Sunnyside neighborhood;
- $1.2 million to continue construction of Flagstaff Downtown Flood Lateral Tunnel to provide flood protection for the area;
- $1.155 million to make improvements to the water filtration treatment plant in Kearny;
- $772,500 for water system improvements in Quartzsite; and
- $578,000 to complete the water pipeline for Pascua Yaqui Tribe started last year.
The bipartisan infrastructure law was supported by groups including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, The National Association of Manufacturers, The AFL-CIO, The National Retail Federation, The Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the Outdoor Industry Association, The American Hotel and Lodging Association, The National Education Association, as well as hundreds of mayors across all 50 states.