Trains stopping the traffic flow on SR 347 instigated the effort for an overpass. A revision of the right-of-way concept for that overpass comes to the public at a July 14 meeting. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Ideas for Maricopa’s future overpass have changed, at least on paper.
[quote_box_right]IF YOU GO
What: SR 347 Overpass Public Information Meeting
When: July 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Unified School District Board Room, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
The new concepts for the placement of the structure on State Route 347 across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks are the focal point of a public information meeting scheduled for July 14.

The Arizona Department of Transportation will host the meeting in Maricopa Unified School District’s board room from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“They are taking it to the east slightly to try to avoid Napa [Auto Parts] and the [First Baptist] Church,” Maricopa Public Works Director Bill Fay said. “It’s involving less real estate and has less impact to Amtrak.”

Not having to move the Amtrak station, Fay said, will save the city millions of dollars.

The caveat on the re-imagined alignment is that it must be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The project received a federal TIGER grant of $15 million based on ADOT’s Alternative H design for the grade separation. That “design concept report” right of way was a rough estimate in 2014, the last time a public information meeting was held in Maricopa. The revisions would alter that right of way rather dramatically.

The change is necessitating an Environmental Assessment re-evaluation and approval by USDOT, which should be completed by Aug. 15, according to ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann.

For now, ADOT is showing residents a map with both right-of-way ideas. The revised Alternative H would have the overpass impacting mostly city-owned property, though some private property will still be involved.


Fay said if USDOT does not sign off on the revision, engineers will have to go back to the original Alternate H. That alignment is straighter and goes over Napa and the Amtrak station at the corner of SR 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway as well as the First Baptist Church farther south on SR 347.

Until there is federal approval or disapproval of the revision, property owners like Tena Dugan of Napa and Pastor Jim Johnson of the First Baptist Church continue to be unable to plan their future.

Fay was part of a Maricopa Association of Governments conference that addressed the changes to the right-of-way design. ADOT refers to the revision as Cost Risk Assessment and Value Engineering, an effort to keep costs down. It appears as “CRAVE Right of way” on the new map. The previous alignment idea is referred to as the Design Concept Report or “DCR” on the new map.

The overpass was placed on the State Transportation Board’s final Five-Year Plan to be completed by 2020.

Though engineers are only at a 15-percent design stage, the final design is expected to be completed in 2017. ADOT has tentatively set construction to start in late 2017 with possible completion in 2019.

The information meeting on July 14 is also an effort to get public feedback. Comments will be accepted through July 28 by Senior Community Relations Officer Paki Rico at or 520-388-4233.

See more on the project at

With the new right-of-way concept, Maricopa may not have to spend millions to move the Amtrak station. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
With the new right-of-way concept, Maricopa may not have to spend millions to move the Amtrak station. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson