City finally places its ‘M’ logo in 347 median overnight
An idea that began at a mock City Council meeting in 2018 became reality early Wednesday when a long-awaited monument was set in place at the northern edge of the city.
The structure, which features a stylized “M,” sits in the median of State Route 347, 500 feet south of the city’s northern limit, to welcome southbound drivers to Maricopa.
Keith Loomis, deputy director of public services, said a “sentimental weld” was included in the work in memory of the late Mike Riggs, the city’s director of public services, who passed away unexpectedly last week. Riggs had shepherded the project from its inception to the doorstep of completion. To commemorate that work and Riggs’ life, Loomis said Riggs’ initials were welded onto the monument’s base.
See Bryan Mordt’s photo gallery of the installation below
Welding the monument to the foundation took about two hours. Among members of the team from Sharp’s Welding in Stanfield was Riggs’ nephew, Ethan Riggs.
A crew of a dozen workers began moving the monument into place at 1 a.m. The monument was lifted in its entirety onto a flat-bed trailer and driven to the site. A four-vehicle caravan was required to get the monument from the city yard on Edison Road to its final destination. The drive of about a mile took more than 10 minutes, according to Loomis.
Four hours later, the 14-foot tall, 20-foot-wide structure was set on its three-column foundation with the aid of a reach forklift, near walls around Cobblestone Farms and Rancho El Dorado.
“It got a little more difficult around 3:30 a.m. when traffic got really heavy, but the crew was great,” Loomis said. “Once it was welded in place, we had the boom truck we use to service traffic lights cut off the support chains, and we cut away the support steel that was holding it into place. We ground down the weld marks and it was ready to go.”
Loomis said the city installed eight up-lights on the ground to illuminate the monument above its interior lighting.
To enhance safety and keep errant vehicles from hitting it, an eight-inch curb was installed about 400 feet north, at the urging of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The city finally got the long-awaited “M” monument into place after nearly a year of waiting. ADOT initially nixed it. The city last month gained control of State Route 347 within city limits — including signage standards — from ADOT, making the installation now possible.
Read more about the monument here.
View photo gallery: