Community leaders break ground for the Sonoran Desert Parkway on Monday morning. From left, Councilmember Bob Marsh, Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi, Mayor Christian Price, Councilmember Nancy Smith, Councilmember Rich Vitiello, Casa Grande Council member Matt Herman, and Elijah Williams of EPS Group. [Bryan Mordt]

The City of Maricopa broke ground last week on the initial section of the Sonoran Desert Parkway, an East-West route promoted as an alternative to State Route 347 to reach the Valley.

That two-mile section along the Farrell Road alignment, which includes a bridge over the Santa Rosa Wash, is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year. That got us thinking about the impact the road might have on the everyday lives of Maricopans – especially those who commute to work in the Valley.

Our informal poll asked: “Will enough motorists use the new Sonoran Desert Parkway when it is completed to significantly reduce traffic on State Route 347?”

The results were, unlike opinions about commuting on 347, mixed.

Of 393 respondents who voted, 155 (39.4%) said no, it would not make a significant impact.

The second most popular response was “time will tell,” which garnered 133 votes (33.8%).

The optimists who voted yes were in the minority, accounting for 105 votes (26.7%).

The Sonoran Desert Parkway (previously known as the East-West Corridor) will be a four-lane, parkway-style thoroughfare connecting John Wayne Parkway, south of the overpass, to Interstate 10.

The City of Casa Grande will be responsible for constructing the longer, eastern part of the route.