A.R.S. 28-332 Interpretation
In A.R.S. 28-332(A) the Legislature mandates that Arizona Department of Transportation ("ADOT") have exclusive control over state highways.
ADOT cannot frustrate that statute by implementing a policy that gives cities veto power over ADOT's design decisions for those portions of state highways that fall within city limits.
Pursuant to our statute ADOT may enter intergovernmental agreements that share such control, see A.R.S. 28-401(B) (stating that the director of ADOT "shall enter into agreements on behalf of this state with political subdivisions . . . for the improvement or maintenance of state routes or for the joint improvement or maintenance of state routes"), but ADOT cannot create such shared control by its own unilateral policy. While ADOT is obligated by statute to "cooperate and coordinate transportation planning with local governments," A.R.S. 28-332(B)(2), nothing in that statute allows ADOT to abandon control of its right of way within the jurisdictions of local governments by giving such governments veto authority over ADOT decisions. Thus, to the extent that ADOT argues that it ceded control to the City of Kingman in this case through the promulgation of its own policy, the argument is unavailing to impose on the City liability for the design or operation of the intersection.
ADOT may promulgate policies supplementing legislation to ensure the complete operation and enforcement of a state statute, it "may not enact rules or regulations or policies that conflict with a statute." Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec. v. Leonardo, 200 Ariz. 74, 79, P16, 22 P.3d 513, 518 (App. 2001); see also Brink Elec. Constr. Co. v. Ariz. Dep't of Revenue, 184 Ariz. 354, 359 n.5, 909 P.2d 421, 426 n.5 (App. 1995) ("a regulation may not contradict a statute").