A project to improve northbound traffic flow on State Route 347 north of Smith-Enke Road is expected to go to bid this summer.

The work will address significant traffic congestion seen daily around the city’s busiest intersection, especially during rush hour. Construction could start in January 2024 and would last about a year, City officials have said.

City Council voted in April to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation to facilitate the project. The city will pay half of the $4 million cost and cover any overruns.

A third northbound through-lane will be added from Smith-Enke to the northern border by extending the existing left-turn-only lane into Cobblestone Farms. That work will require reconstruction of the median and curb.

An acceleration lane will also be added for traffic turning north out of Rancho El Dorado at Lakeside Drive. That lane will merge into existing lanes near the city border. Maricopans need to become familiar with the zipper merge.

In addition, the southbound left-turn lane onto Lakeview will be extended by several hundred feet to help keep traffic from backing up and blocking the two through-lanes on that side.

The pavement north of Smith-Enke will be resurfaced, as well.

SR 347 north of the city limit remains under ADOT control. That stretch will remain two lanes in each direction until it obtains funding to widen the highway north to Interstate 10.