Mesa plans to completely close McDowell Road at the end of May from Power Road to west of Sossaman Road for construction of the Loop 202 Red Mountain freeway.
The closure would begin May 25 and is expected to last four months. Construction will continue for two months after McDowell Road is reopened to one lane of traffic in each direction, according to city transportation officials.
The closure will send much of the traffic on the city’s surface streets in east Mesa to McKellips and Brown roads.
Pulice Construction Inc., which is building the Loop 202 Red Mountain freeway, would be opening Brown and Power roads before McDowell Road is closed.
Brown Road currently is closed from 80th to 86th streets.
Brown Road is expected to be open to two lanes of traffic in each direction before the construction begins, said Dan Cleavenger, the city’s deputy transportation director.
The closure most affects the upscale Las Sendas neighborhood, because the subdivision’s main access would be near the construction. The city timed the closure so it would begin the day after Las Sendas Elementary School closes for the summer.
City Councilman Rex Griswold, which represents the area, likened the pending road closure to a “root canal.”
Most of the residents in the area supported an accelerated construction schedule that would complete the roadwork as quickly as possible.
“It’s painful, but you’re going to feel better when it’s done,” he said.
The city will be paid by Pulice for the road closure. Under terms of the agreement, the city would reap $250,000 from the construction company to close and restrict access to McDowell Road. If construction drags on longer than expected and McDowell Road remains closed, the company would pay a $25,000 penalty plus $3,500 per day in fees, according to a city report.
The construction involves building new bridges over the Central Arizona Project Canal, which will also elevate the height of McDowell Road near Power Road.
Loop 202 would also have to be elevated above the canal and the bridges.