Monday, February 12, 2007

East-West Roadways for Surprise Area

I was really excited when I saw a headline to this effect on AZCentral.com recently. Those of us living in Surprise all share the same few roads to commute into town. Our direct-route choices are limited to Bell Road on the north end, Grand Avenue (aka US 60) which links to the south as well as Olive Avenue & Northern Avenue also on the south. Many of us have even increased our daily mileage - in an effort to minimize our time/frustration with traffic - by taking advantage of the 303 to link with Happy Valley and then either heading north to Hwy 74 to intersect with I17 or heading south toward 83d Ave. & Union Hills to merge onto the 101. When I read about two new east-west roadways, I immediately began reading to find out where these desperately-needed roadways were going to lead.

My curiosity got the best of me even though I know any potential roadway between Bell & Olive has 2 obstacles to overcome: the New River wash and Sun City's circular neighborhood roads. As I began reading, I realized that these new roadways are expected to begin - roughly - at Grand Avenue and continue west to 299th Avenue in Buckeye. These roadways are expected to align with Patton Road & Jomax Road.

I was completely wrong about where these new roads would be located. These roads are being planned to relieve congestion of the future - a forecasted population explosion expected from the 5,500 acre project planned for the former Daimler Chrysler Proving Grounds. 2 builders paid $312 million for this parcel which officials report as one of the largest land deals in the history of Arizona. Once complete, this project provides for 30,000 homes, a mall, as well as other projects. If these new residents choose to head into town, their choices are limited to the roads we aleady have. None of our current roads will handle another 30,000 commuters.

I am glad that this study is being done and preparations are being made, but we need 303 widened and completed from I10 all the way to I17. Grand Avenue needs to be made into a freeway, and, we need another 4 to 6 lane roadway heading east from the 303 to 101 & I17.

The Maricopa Association of Governments is studying an additional north-south highway which will link I10 - at approximately 347th Avenue, west of the Sun Valley Parkway - with both US60 and eventually Highway 74 (aka Carefree Highway).

The goal of the study is to gain public input regarding roadway type, alignment, number of lanes & right-of-way requirements for the two roadways aligned with Patton & Jomax heading west from Grand Ave. If you are interested in attending this meeting and/or giving your input regarding these new roadways, the information is as follows: February 28th, 2007, 5-7pm, @ Nadaburg Elem. School - 21419 W Dove Valley Rd.

Read the article here.