Colorado Road/Legion Ranch Road receives approval from BOS

GOLDEN VALLEY - A smoother, faster means of driving through Golden Valley was introduced by Supervisor Jean Bishop, receiving majority support with a 4/1 vote from the Board of Supervisors.  The BOS approved the unanimous recommendation of the Transportation Commission to allow the Public Works Department to apply a soil stabilizer to hard surface an existing dirt road connecting state highway 93 and 68 via Colorado/Legion Ranch Road at a cost of approximately $550,000.  Public Works Director Steven Latoski stated this route will provide and improve a corridor of regional significance that connects state route 68 and 93.

The route will improve drive times and cause redistribution of the existing traffic flow currently utilizing the 68/93 interchange. Director Latoski stated the improvements would benefit both Golden Valley residents and regional travelers by reducing 7.4 miles of pass through traffic.

The proposed soil stabilization gives more strength to underlying soil and roadbed. When chip seal is applied, the process yields a hard surfaced road which differs from asphalt concrete roads largely on the basis of structural capacity and provides a level of lasting surface that supports lighter traffic loads with the occasional garbage truck or school bus.  "Most drivers can find barely any difference between that and asphalt," said Latoski. "It's a cost-effective mode of delivering a hard surface road to the public."

Three alternate routes were examined by county engineers but travel through dense residential areas and roads subject to frequent flooding made the Colorado/Legion route the best and most cost efficient.  Additional engineering and right-of-way issues will not be necessary so the work is expected begin this summer.  Supervisor Jean Bishop believes this new corridor will see traffic of a few hundred vehicles a day that won't be on Highway 68 where it currently meets Highway 93 and fits with the current ADOT safety plans for Highway 68 and the future plans of Interstate 11.

Supervisor Gary Watson discussed the possibility of Legend Ranch being an arterial road to the proposed Interstate 11."If I-11 is designated and approved, will construction of this road enhance the ability of us to have access to I-11 with an overpass?" asked Watson."I'm trying to plan ahead. I don't see a lot of other opportunities for other arterials. I look at this project of one of return on investment for future years."

"It's a large investment for Golden Valley and a big improvement," said Chairwoman Jean Bishop. "I think Interstate 11 is coming faster than some people think and this route will improve response times by EMS and will open up Golden Valley growth and possible economic development opportunities.

"Emergency response is a big thing," said Arizona Department of Transportation engineer Alvin Stump. "Five or six minutes can mean life or death for someone involved in an accident."

The Board approved funding for this project from the County's Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) last February as part of a greater road program inclusive of chip seal, level course, and structural pavement treatment work.