A beautification effort along John Wayne Parkway through Maricopa is still in the works, though a place for a welcoming monument sign is unsettled.
Last year, city council approved a maintenance agreement with Arizona Department of Transportation that allows improvements along SR 347 inside city limits.
“That was the important first step,” said Nathan Steele, director of Economic and Community Development.
The overall plan calls for shade trees, accent plants, decorative steel and other elements for a beautification project of more than $1 million. Steele said it “will greatly improve the aesthetic of the most-traveled street in Maricopa.”
A monument sign, intended to welcome drivers into town, is tied to the beautification effort. It was initially planned for the west side of the highway in a “gateway” area, a location that may have interfered with the view of subdivision signage like Cobblestone Farms.
“It might be that we need to move it away from Cobblestone and Rancho El Dorado land and have it be entirely within ADOT right of way and city right of way rather than encroaching at all in any of the HOA properties,” Steele said.
The beautification project has been phased into the City’s Capital Improvement Projects budget over a five-year period. The early concept for the monument sign on one side of the highway included a stone structure on the east side to lend balance.
“There’s also the possibility that we work with Gila River and have the sign be more of a ‘Now entering Maricopa’ while heading south and then ‘Now entering Gila River’ when heading north,” Steele said. “There are a lot of things that are still on the table that we’re considering.”
City staff is in the process of finalizing landscape design for the beautification. Some planting may begin within the next few months.