I-10 project could give city another way to access freeway, relieve SR 347

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[ADOT]

Improvements coming to Interstate 10 along the Wild Horse Pass Corridor could benefit Maricopa, including another potential way to reach the freeway to augment State Route 347, Deputy City Manager Ben Bitter said during a presentation at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“What many of us may not realize is that (Seed Farm Road) is the Smith-Enke alignment,” Bitter said. “About six miles east of the Volkswagen test facility is where Seed Farm Road would meet up with I-10. So, if you think as a resident of Tortosa, currently to get to Phoenix you would have to head west about five or six miles to hit SR 347 and then head north.

“Think of the possibilities of what could be if we could have another route instead of SR 347, where people could go east five or six miles, connect to I-10 and then head north. These are types of solutions we look for in terms of lessening the load on SR 347. They are long processes, they are difficult processes, but we certainly want to be engaged in so we can have those options for the future.”

The scenario is hypothetical at this point and there are no definite plans to make the link. But a Seed Farms Road interchange would make it possible in the future.

Another key element of the project from the city’s viewpoint is the new I-10 interchange planned at Queen Creek Road, according to Bitter.

“Why are we talking about I-10? This has a lot of impact for us in Maricopa, specifically the interchange at Queen Creek Road and what that will look like,” Bitter said. “I know a lot of people have heard there’s something called a diverging-diamond interchange. . . . This video starts to show and give people an idea of how they’ll manage that type of interchange.”

The bulk of Bitter’s presentation centered on a fly-over video produced by Arizona Department of Transportation that shows the improvements, most notably adding a third lane in each direction along the 29 miles of freeway from Loop 202 south to Casa Grande.

That stretch of I-10 is the last that remains two lanes each way from Phoenix to Tucson.

Improvements planned on the I-10 Wild Horse Pass Corridor include:

  • Adding a third lane each way along the entire 29-mile segment.
  • Upgrading State Route 347/Queen Creek Road interchange and converting it to a diverging diamond, facilitating better traffic flow. That interchange would accommodate widening SR 347 from I-10 to Maricopa.
  • Extending the southbound HOV lane south to Riggs Road.
  • Building an overpass on Riggs Road over SR 347, alleviating the frequent traffic backups at the intersection.
  • Replacing bridges on I-10 spanning the Gila River, which were built in the 1960s. This is a separate project that is underway.
  • Adding an I-10 interchange at Seed Farm Road west of Maricopa.

Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi said these improvements are not fantasy, but reality.

“This is not a pie-in-the-sky dream we’re talking about here. This is not, ‘maybe this is going to happen.’ This is going to happen,” Manfredi said. “This is work our legislators, Teresa Martinez, TJ Shope our state senator, they fought tooth-and-nail to get this funding and then, of course, to get the matching federal funding and the (Maricopa Association of Governments) grants.

“This is the cool stuff that’s happening. The interchange at I-10 and Queen Creek Road, that is the first step in getting the 347 fixed where we need it. This is going to fix that intersection so when we put those people on 347 on additional lanes, this is the first step, the Queen Creek Road and the diverging diamond that’s going there. And then the next step, of course, is the work we’re doing with Riggs Road and taking Riggs over the 347, and that’s going to start in the next year or so, and we’ll get that started and completed in the next 24 to 48 months.”

Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is an owner of InMaricopa.

4 COMMENTS

    • It will be 20 years next year since we moved to Maricopa and have heard the same bullshit ideas. It hasn’t happened in 20 years, I don’t see it happening in the next 20 but the grandiose plans for a water park make me laugh at this point. I’m glad we moved out of Maricopa last year, this just makes me laugh now.

  1. From the article: “The scenario is hypothetical at this point and there are no definite plans to make the link.”

    Also from the article: “This is not a pie-in-the-sky dream we’re talking about here. This is not, ‘maybe this is going to happen.’ This is going to happen,” Manfredi said.

    Also mentioned in the article: “Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is an owner of InMaricopa.”

    One needs to be extremely vigilant for and skeptical of spin from political figures, especially when they also happen to own the main local news media outlet.

    Kudos to Jay Taylor for not just 100% parroting the talking points of our city leaders with no other investigation or critical thought applied to the story, as so many of the articles on this site really amount to nothing more than a blatant, shameless delivery vehicle for direct unfiltered messaging from city officials. That’s not how news is supposed to work.

    • Arthur, while it’s easy to not look at the facts and simply offer critical comments, I offer you some advice. Get to know people before attacking them publicly. Let’s have a coffee and chat, and after that if you still feel I am this bad guy you are trying to portray go ahead and keep up the unfounded attacks. Fair enough? Also, if you would you like to write for InMaricopa reach out to Lee who is the Editorial Director for InMaricopa at [email protected]. Thanks, Vince.