A utility company is being blamed for the traffic tie-ups in Maricopa this week.
While Arizona Department of Transportation has been working nights around the intersection of State Route 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in preparation for the overpass, some daytime work has caused a logjam for northbound drivers.
Southwest Gas is relocating a gas line in the area, also in preparation for the overpass.
“They received a permit for the work but did not have an approved traffic control plan,” ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said. “The city stopped the work until a traffic control plan is approved and the city has a chance to communicate that to the community.”
Northbound SR 347 was narrowed to one lane, though both southbound lanes were open. Even with a new traffic plan, Hermann said there will still likely be traffic issues during the day.
The ongoing closure of Farrell Road at Porter Road further exacerbated the problem, lengthening the alternate routes by several miles.
Mayor Christian Price stated in Facebook postings said the city had “all over” ADOT and SWG, “but again our power is pretty limited when it’s just in their hands and we’re not updated.”
When traffic is congested at SR 347 and MCG Highway and eastbound Farrell is closed, the long alternatives for northbound traffic are to drive south to Peters and Nall Road, east to White and Parker Road, and north to MCG Highway, or to drive west on Farrell Road to Ralston Road, north to State Route 238 and east to John Wayne Parkway.