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Sun, Sept. 22

Contractor on schedule<BR>Wider Glassford Hill Road will be complete by mid-June

PRESCOTT VALLEY — After months of construction, Prescott Valley drivers are pretty tired of seeing barricades, signs and flaggers on Glassford Hill Road.

But the contractor is in the home stretch and, next month, drivers will have a wider, more driveable Glassford Hill Road as a north-south route through town.

Drivers have become used to the odd detours on the main route near schools and shopping. They've driven off the side of the road on makeshift paths and used sections of the newly paved route.

Within the past few weeks, they've seen the ramp between northbound Highway 89A and Glassford Hill Road taking shape.

FNF Construction of Tempe is widening the road to a parkway, with two lanes in each direction, separated by a landscaped median.

Prescott Valley Public Works Director Larry Tarkowski said the contractor still is on schedule and within budget, despite having plans change mid-stream.

"By the middle of June, Glassford Hill Road should be open and operational," he said.

The town's ever-changing commercial picture has forced officials to change the road plans.

For example, the downtown entertainment complex, which includes the Harkins Theater, encouraged the town to make the first section of Glassford Hill Road an urban section, with curb and gutter. Also, the town is adding a stoplight at Centre Court and Glassford Hill Road.

In addition, the Arizona Department of Transportation hadn't finished the plans for the intersections of Glassford Hill Road with Highways 69 and 89A when the project went to bid, Tarkowski said. So those alignments were done as change orders to FNF's contract, he said.

The most visual part of the construction work in the past few weeks has been the dedicated right-turn ramp from Highway 89A to Glassford Hill Road.

By adding this ramp, traffic will flow without slowing or stopping, from Highway 89A to Glassford Hill Road.

Tarkowski said much of the traffic now, and even more of the traffic when the Airport Connector is built, will use that route.

The Airport Connector will join Pioneer Parkway with Highway 89A, about a mile west of Glassford Hill Road.

"It takes a large part of the traffic out of the intersection," he said. "That will prevent a lot of accidents."

While the construction has forced FNF to route drivers onto newly paved sections at times, the end of construction still is five or six weeks away.

FNF Construction still has drainage work, paving, chip-sealing, striping and signage to do before the other two lanes will be complete, Tarkowski said.

But by mid-June, drivers will spread out over the new four-lane parkway, increasing safety on the road which has exceeded traffic count projections from the day it opened, he said.

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