2023 to bring start, completion of major traffic projects

Construction of the Sonoran Desert Parkway, including a bridge over the Santa Rosa Wash, is one of several major road infrastructure projects under way or coming for the city in 2023. [Bryan Mordt]

The City pushed for – and won – control of traffic infrastructure projects from Arizona Department of Transportation within the city limits in August. That control should begin paying dividends in 2023 with the completion of one major project and the beginning of several others.

The agreement with ADOT provides more efficient management of growth, city officials said.

“This will turn over the 347 and the 238 to the city of Maricopa for us to control our own destiny when it comes to our own development,” Councilmember Vincent Manfredi said at the time. “That is big news. There are not many cities in this state or in this country where the work you have to do as a city is being held up at the state level by bureaucracy of a big department like that. And it’s not like they’re being mean, it’s that they have to worry about a lot of different things, and in the city of Maricopa we have to worry about one thing, and that is the city of Maricopa.”

Manfredi said benefits to the city include more local control over economic development efforts, allowing the City to construct ingress and egress routes for development projects that want to build here, the ability to synchronize the timing of traffic signals in town and control of City projects on State Routes 347 and 238.

Projects likely to have the greatest impact include the upgrading of the intersection of Smith-Enke Road and John Wayne Parkway; completion of Phase 1 of the Sonoran Desert Parkway; improvements to Lakeview Drive; and the widening of State Route 347 from Lakeview/Cobblestone Farms Road to the city’s northern border.

The project that could create the most issues is the $2.3 million Smith-Enke/John Wayne Parkway improvement. The City plans:

  • A second, dedicated, right-turn lane from westbound Smith-Enke Road onto northbound SR347. The entrance to CVS Pharmacy will move to the east to allow for the longer, two-lane turn lane.
  • A double left-turn lane from eastbound Smith-Enke onto northbound SR347.
  • A dedicated, right-turn lane from southbound SR347 onto westbound SR 238.
  • A dedicated, right-turn lane with no stop required for motorists leaving Rancho El Dorado via Lakeview Drive going north on SR347.

“The Smith-Enke intersection design work is nearing completion,” Deputy City Manager Benjamin Bitter said. “Once final design is complete, City staff will determine appropriate options and timing for any construction activity, in light of the upcoming widening project on State Route 347 (from north of Smith-Enke to the city limit). The budget for this project will be determined following the completion of the engineering design work.”

Improvements to Lakeview will begin after the 347 widening is completed, Bitter said.

“We hope to start on the engineering for this project shortly after the design work is complete for the 347 widening from north of Smith-Enke to the city limit,” Bitter said. “The city has $978,575 budgeted for the design and construction of this project, but the timeline is unknown at this time as we await the 347 widening.”

To the south, the Sonoran Desert Parkway project is well underway after construction started in early 2022. The parkway will eventually link State Route 347 and Interstate 10 from Maricopa’s south side, giving residents a second route to access the Valley. The initial phase starts at SR347 in front of Harrah’s Ak-Chin and runs east along the Farrell Road alignment, tying into Porter Road and heading north across the Santa Rosa Wash.

A 220-foot-long, 100-foot-wide bridge will be built across the wash as part of the 1.6-mile first phase of the project. About 5,000 plants and trees also will be planted along the route. Completion of the $30.1 million project from SR347 to Porter Road is tentatively scheduled for completion in June, Bitter said.

Bitter also addressed potential traffic issues related to the various projects.

“With every new development, we require traffic impact analyses to determine how the new development will affect existing traffic,” he said. “We also plan into the future, by studying regional transportation routes, and by regularly updating a 10-year infrastructure improvement plan. Also, the City Council has a policy that, to the extent possible, growth should pay for itself and not be subsidized by our existing taxpayers. Thus, the timing of infrastructure improvements largely depends on growth.

“Now that the City has jurisdiction over SR238 within the city limits, we will work directly with surrounding property owners to determine the best solutions for the highway and the corresponding access points.”

The city will provide as much notice as possible to the public regarding future road or lane restrictions and closures based on project timelines, Bitter said.

Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is an owner of InMaricopa.


  1. my? is what is the time frame for updates? the lights at lakeview and cobblestone and rt 347 need to be adjusted. also lights all the lights on rt 347 from rt 238 and smith enke need to be timed for cross traffic.