John Wayne Parkway median project nears completion

Construction workers move soil as they continue the beautification project on John Wayne Parkway [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

The city’s ongoing project to beautify the median on John Wayne Parkway through town will undoubtedly make the road more aesthetically pleasing. But for now, it is causing traffic backups and delays.

Maricopa Director of Public Services Mike Riggs says those days are nearing an end. He said the project is slated for completion Feb. 4, and that monument being installed on the north end of town to welcome visitors to the city will be done in that period as well.

“The monument is being built now, and will be done during project timeline,” Riggs said. “There are flags in the median on the north end of town denoting where the monument will be placed, and it will be within the city limits.”

He added a final note that will surely please drivers entering town: “There is no change to traffic control to install the monument.”

The $2 million project is adding plants, boulders, ornamental lighting and gabion baskets – the wire structures filled with river rock – to the median from Honeycutt Ave. to the city’s northern border just north of Lakeview Drive.

The decorative elements were chosen with an eye toward practicality. Riggs said a variety of low water usage plants are being used, and the gabion baskets and boulders require no maintenance. Even the ornamental structures were done with budget in mind.

“There are three sizes of the light columns,” Riggs said. “They will be lighted using a dusk to dawn timer. The columns were made by the city to reduce cost of project.”

Riggs said the weekday lane closures on John Wayne Parkway will continue through the Feb. 4 completion date.

Once the median project is completed, the city will begin work to expand the intersection and improve traffic flow at the intersection of John Wayne Parkway and Smith-Enke Road. The start and completion dates and scope of lane closures, if any, have not yet been determined for that project.