Road construction on State Route 347 that will cause months of delays for Maricopa motorists traveling to and from the Valley has begun.
The project kicked off overnight Monday with lane restrictions southbound SR 347 at the intersection of Old Maricopa Road, 1.75 miles west of Interstate 10, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
VIDEO Q&A: State Route 347 and transportation in Maricopa
The project to add new traffic signals and merge lanes at the intersection is expected to run through July.
Southbound lanes will narrow to one lane at times, but ADOT said it would ease the impact on commuters by opening both lanes during the evening rush, from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drivers can use Riggs Road via I-10 as an alternate route.
Crews are scheduled to focus on earthwork and paving along southbound SR 347 through July.
Northbound lane restrictions near Old Maricopa Road also will be needed this summer. Both lanes will be open for the morning rush, from 5 to 8 a.m. during the workweek.
Weekend work is not currently scheduled, the agency said.
The $1.3 million project, slated for completion by the fall, is aimed at speeding travel through the oft-congested area.
When the new traffic signals are operational, traffic on southbound Old Maricopa Road will be able to make left turns onto northbound SR 347 and use a new merge lane, or acceleration lane, to transition into the flow of traffic. The new traffic signal for northbound SR 347 is expected to remain green at nearly all times, the agency said.
Once the intersection improvements are completed, ADOT reminded drivers on both roadways to focus on safety by paying attention and being prepared for merging traffic.
The project is funded in part of Prop 400, a half-cent sales tax for regional transportation projects approved by voters in 2004, ADOT said.
ADOT will provide any updated information via the SR 347/Maricopa Road project’s website, media updates and the agency’s social media channels.
LMAO so let me get this straight – we’re going to make traffic on the 347 WORSE for three months, but we’re not really adding new lanes or anything with this construction, we’re just adding another stoplight?! And this is somehow supposed to help alleviate congestion… but is also going to remain green for northbound traffic at “nearly all times”… meaning this light is effectively doing nothing at all then?! Meanwhile, the congestion in Maricopa could ACTUALLY be somewhat lessened if the city just hired a qualified civil engineer for a week to adjust the timing on all the other existing traffic lights we have on the 347. What a joke. Let’s be real here, what this is actually about is easing event traffic for Wild Horse Pass at the inconvenience of everyone who lives in Maricopa while they build it.
This was, honestly, a very ill-conceived traffic measure. While it will minimally affect north-bound traffic, it will severely impact southbound traffic in a very negative way. It would’ve made far more sense to invest the time and money in a southbound merging lane for traffic trying to go south from Old Maricopa Road. Perhaps no one in ADOT has ever tried to turn right onto 347 at that intersection, but it’s not fun. The minimal amount of traffic that may at any point desire to turn left onto Hwy 347 is insignificant next to the amount of congestion that will be created in the southbound lanes once this light becomes active. If the previous commenter is correct, and this involves Wild Horse Pass, then the state is lying (not unlikely) when it says it aims at, “speeding travel through the oft-congested area.” If the state is NOT lying, then no one at the state level understands why the area becomes congested. The area becomes congested because there’s far more traffic along the ONLY NORTHERN ROUTE in and out of Maricopa than 4 lanes can appropriately handle. What will ACTUALLY ease congestion would be expanding the highway to 6 lanes and building on/off ramps at all four intersections between Maricopa and I-10. The three existing traffic lights only cause problems and serve to be sites of often-fatal collisions. Widen the highway, get rid of traffic lights altogether, and build overpasses with on and off ramps.
You’re missing the big picture. It’s all about the Gila diverting traffic to their stupid casino. It’s about money, not safety or easing congestion. They might as well just build a lane straight to the their parking garage because it’s practically that obvious
Glad to see this. Everyone said what we really needed was another traffic light on 347 to help with congestion. /s
I’m with DJB on this one. Gila has huge plans for their properties in that area and this is to make that interaction viable as an egress route again after ADOT took away their left turn ability.
my over riding ? has always been why or when will gov ducey listen to small cities on road issues? about 3 or 4 years ago didn’t small cities sue him for failure to release ppp funds? gov ducey and city of maricopa council r lax in looking out for the city. city manager sold dog park as it did not generate tax revenue. my ? is will the city manager let citizens who use dog daily have input in new dog park? seems like pickle ball court for 400 k does not get used as dog park is used every day.
Oh my. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yeah, the bathwater is dirty, but add another traffic light to an already impossible situation???!!! I have driven this route for years, started in ’93 when there was only the railroad light through Maricopa. It has done nothing but get worse and worse. Instead of adding lanes on both sides and making the road a limited access road with no stops, they add another light. The light will just be another bottleneck on this too- used road. Surely someone in Phoenix should recognize that many of their workers come from Maricopa and are being tortured every morning and every night by this situation and lobby the legislature to fix the road Many! Many lives lost does not sway them to actually fix it??? Then we have the city of Maricopa adding to the problem by allowing ever more houses to be built, taking the farmer’s water and clogging transportation. Too bad they couldn’t actually add some real jobs that aren’t service jobs instead!!
For me, I think I will start doing the bulk of any shopping in Gila Bend, Casa Grande and maybe Tucson. They are all much easier drives than cruising through a town that refuses to have an alternate route through town not involving TOO many stoplights!!!
100% agreed with Arthur F. Is there some reason why driving 347 in-town you get.to.stop.at.every.single.light? Want to reduce red-light running in town, TIME THE LIGHTS where *if* you are going the speed limit, you can go from Cobblestone to Farrell road (or vice-versa) and not hit a red light.
Maybe MPD should put their stupid GOHS radar trailer in the median with the rusty ironworks and bagged cacti to remind people how they can’t even get close to the speed limit because they have to stop at every light.
I really enjoyed all these wonderful comments. But let me suggest something that might work. Lets think of a way to ‘pad the pockets’ of the politicians and make them want to solve this problem. That is the ONLY way to get something. Sad but true.