Scottsdale plans to widen Pima - East Valley Tribune: News

Scottsdale plans to widen Pima

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Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 6:11 am | Updated: 3:41 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Pima Road would fatten from two lanes to five in south Scottsdale under a plan in the works to ease a flood of traffic expected from a new office complex.

Transportation engineers in 18 months are expected to study and come up with a master plan for expanding one of the city’s main northsouth arteries between McDowell Road and 90th Street.

The purpose of the $27 million project is to alleviate projected traffic that will come from new offices planned in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community along Scottsdale’s eastern border, said transportation director Paul Porell.

Those plans also include extending Pima Road about two miles from the McDowell Road intersection to the intersection of Hayden and Curry roads, Porell said.

Residents of the area near the planned road widening said the project should be no problem for them.

Mark Kaps, who has lived near that section of Pima Road for just more than seven years, said: “To be quite honest, in the morning we catch enough of the (Loop) 101 noise. I don’t think it will be that different. I don’t think it will be that much of a disruption.”

Kaps said he’s in favor of the commercial development and he said he thinks the widening project will help relieve traffic congestion along Loop 101.

His neighbor Renee Werkheiser echoed those feelings.

“We’re excited about the development,” Werkheiser said, adding she thinks the new offices will enhance the area.

Werkheiser said she is not concerned about the increased traffic volumes those new developments will bring to the area.

Earlier this month, city transit engineers and HDR, the city’s contracted transportation consulting firm, said traffic congestion will worsen in the coming years owing to the city’s growth. The city is currently developing a 20-year master transportation plan to address traffic congestion.

Another nearby resident, Peggy Fortney, said the increased traffic in the area and the road widening won’t make a difference to her.

“There’s already so much traffic and noise, it won’t matter,” said Fortney, who has lived in the area for 45 years.

The City Council on Tuesday is slated to approve an intergovernmental agreement for the project among the city, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Indian community.

Approval of the agreement means the transportation department will give the city $2 million to contract with a firm to conduct the study and come up with a plan.

The rest of the money will come from the Maricopa County Regional Transportation Plan.

Porell said construction is expected to start in 2008 and be completed in 2011.

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