Travelers are returning to Mesa-Phoenix Gateway Airport in Mesa — 2 million so far this year, equaling the pre-pandemic high.
For an airport looking to expand like Gateway is, the infrastructure bill is a big deal.
Over its life — the next five to eight years — as much as $100 million could be spent at Gateway on various expansion and renovation projects.
“The infrastructure bill is very important for airports like Gateway because what it does is allow us to focus on projects that make our airport more efficient,” said Mesa-Phoenix Gateway airport’s Communications Director Ryan Smith.
In April, construction will begin on modernizing the airport’s terminals. It’s a $25 million project funded with infrastructure money.
Currently, four carriers fly out of Gateway. The expansion will make room for a fifth carrier.
Gateway is also expected to receive federal infrastructure dollars for runway expansion as well as a new aviation tower, which is currently under construction.
“There’s no such thing as a Republican or Democrat pothole,” Mesa Mayor John Giles, a Republican, who was invited to the infrastructure bill signing at the White House.
Besides the improvements to Gateway, Giles says expanding Mesa will receive infrastructure funding on a variety of projects ranging from upgrading roads to expanding water treatment facilities and providing electric car charging stations.
“We’re taking a break right now and saying okay, government can get something done,” Giles said.
Arizona is targeted for approximately $6 billion in federal infrastructure dollars.
Last week, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who helped get the bill passed through Congress, said shovel-ready projects to improve Arizona’s ports of entry will also be among the projects that will soon get underway.