After a scattering of delays and a construction kerfuffle, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for a major road project in Maricopa.
Deputy City Manager Ben Bitter shared some recent updates on the Sonoran Desert Parkway during a July 18 city council meeting, including what residents can expect to see in the coming weeks.
“Everything’s moving forward on that project really well,” Bitter said during the meeting.
He told InMaricopa the project remains on track to open later this summer or early in the fall.
Construction on the Santa Rosa Wash bridge on Porter Road progressed in April when crews laid structural beams. Since then, they’ve paved the bridge and one lane in each direction just north of the bridge.
Crews will continue to pave Porter Road and install guardrails in the coming weeks.
Other updates include planting thousands of attractive flora to beautify the roadway, as well as utility work.
“Landscaping is coming in the not-too-distant future where shrubs and trees will be planted along the entire parkway,” Bitter said.
Bitter said the project budget saw a slight increase since its inception, rising from $26.7 million to $27.3 million. The increase came from Southwest Gas relocating pipes, plus changes and upgrades to irrigation and drainage structures along the road.
Sunland Asphalt will cover that $600,000 bump, Bitter said.
The project is notable not only for offering residents an alternative route out of town, but also for being almost entirely funded by the city — not the Arizona Department of Transportation, which builds and maintains most roads in the state.
“No funding from ADOT, no funding from Pinal County, no funding from Ak-Chin or other sources,” Bitter told InMaricopa in May. “It’s all city resources that we’re using to fund this project.”