The Maricopa City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow near the northern border.
The project would add lanes north of State Route 347 and Smith-Enke Road, the city’s busiest intersection. That area experiences significant traffic delays daily, especially during rush hour.
The City will pay half of the $4 million cost and cover any project overruns. The project will begin this summer with a year-long design and engineering phase. The bid process for contracting and construction will take place in summer and fall of 2023 and construction is projected to begin in January 2024 and last about a year. The projected completion date is the fourth quarter of 2024.
The project will include reconstruction of the median and curb to provide space for a third northbound through-lane to the city border. The existing northbound, left turn-only lane into Cobblestone Farms will be extended north all the way to the border.
A northbound acceleration lane also will be added coming out of Rancho El Dorado at Lakeside Drive that will merge into existing lanes near city border. SR 347 north of the city border will remain two lanes in each direction until the Arizona Department of Transportation decides to widen the highway north to I-10.
In addition, the southbound left-turn lane onto Lakeview will be extended by “hundreds of feet,” according to Benjamin Bitter, the city’s director of engineering and capital improvement projects.
“We’re doing all we can to maximize capacity through this area,” he said.
“Obviously, once we hit the city limits, things are going to go back down to two lanes,” he continued. “That’s an ADOT project that’s out of our purview …. So, we’ll do what we can to get that third lane and do as much as we can as quickly as we can and move forward from there.”
Bitter said all the recently completed roadway beautification work on the median on SR 347 was done in anticipation of this project coming on its heels.
“We hear comments from the public asking why the boxes of rocks are closer to one side of the median or the other. That was done in anticipation of the future roadway expansion,” Bitter said. “By the time this project is complete, those monuments will effectively look like they are in the center of the median, which is how it was designed.”
Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi said the project illustrates the City’s commitment to addressing traffic issues on SR 347 in the areas in which it has control of the roadway.
“This shows what the City is doing,” Manfredi said “We’re working toward the three lanes on 347 before ADOT is working toward three lanes. We can only do what we can do within the city limits. The money we are pushing out here is all within the city limits. The other work, with the extra lanes (up to I-10) will happen years from now. It’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about what’s happening in the city limits. I just don’t want people to get too excited when they hear about a third lane on 347.”
Manfredi also offered some practical advice to drivers leaving Rancho El Dorado.
“People are going to have to learn how to do a zipper merge,” Manfredi said. “It’s going to be important coming out of Rancho to keep traffic flowing.” (See ADOT example below.)
In addition, the City will resurface pavement from north of the SR 347-Smith-Enke intersection to the city border.
Sweet ‘n Sour. Sweet cuz we need the lane. Sour cuz of more construction delays. But we need it.
Until the 347 is expanded to I10 this is just lipstick on a pig. But it’ll look nice.
“‘People are going to have to learn how to do a zipper merge,’ Manfredi said.”
Lol. Uh-huh, sure they will.
Just like they know how to stop at a red light or not pass traffic on the shoulder. All this does is relocates the traffic problem a mile north. Yay, progress!
my ? is did article state if rt 347 north from rt 238 north to santa rosa bridge will rt 347 north be resurfaced in city? also why did it take city council 3 or more years to notice poor road conditions? alsi city mgr in recent article stated i will not build infastructure until houses built.