By Molly Cerreta Smith
As north Peoria continues to grow and become a more desirable place to live, dine, shop, enjoy entertainment and more, the demand for convenient ways to access the city increases. With that, recent news of a new road construction project has been announced.
The Peoria City Council has recently approved an agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation for the design and development of the Loop 303 Interchange at Jomax Road. The project is set to begin in the spring of 2020 with a completion date slated for winter of 2021.
The city will be responsible for paying the construction costs to the state, which are estimated to be approximately $515,102. However, if the project goes over budget, the city is also required to pay the state for those costs. Peoria will also take on the responsibility of maintenance of the Loop 303 Interchange upon completion of the project. On its end, the state of Arizona is slated to prepare design plans, specifications and any additional documents needed for bidding as well as secure any and all necessary permits for the construction and other work needed in their right of way.
As of right now, the Loop 303 includes two general purpose lanes at the Jomax Road alignment. However, because there is not a bridge over Jomax Road, traffic along the Loop 303 has to depart from the main alignment to travel along the future on and off ramps.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) initiated a study along a northwest valley area of the Loop 303 to “address how future growth in the region would impact the highway,” according to the ADOT website. “The study will examine the benefits of adding a third general purpose lane in each direction between Happy Valley and Lake Pleasant parkways; construction of a new traffic interchange to tie in with the city of Peoria’s future extension of Jomax Road; and building a new bridge over the Beardsley Canal.”
The traffic interchange, bridges for the main lines and concrete paved surface for the paved surface under the bridges are included in ADOT’s project design as well, and the agreement between ADOT and the city also includes a two-inch PVC electrical conduit in a joint utility trench that will allow for new lighting as well as a new traffic signal at the intersection of Vistancia Boulevard and Jomax Road, and a 36-inch diameter steel casing under the interchange that will accommodate a future water main that will run from east to west.
According to ADOT, residents can expect shoulder closures along the Loop 303 during construction and notes that temporary single-lane closures might be necessary. At least one lane of travel in each direction will be maintained during construction. For updates, www.azdot.gov.
While construction can sometimes be a hassle for travelers, this latest development is a long-term solution to the growth and development anticipated for north Peoria. In the long run, residents and visitors to the area will likely be thankful for this temporary inconvenience!