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2016 will be year for new turn lanes, signals in ADOT's Prescott District

Les Bowen/The Daily Courier

Les Bowen/The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Highway tweaks and additions will make up the bulk of the Arizona Department of Transportation's (ADOT) construction plans in the Prescott area for the coming fiscal year.

In fiscal year 2016, which begins on July 1, ADOT plans to do about $8 million worth of work on the highways surrounding Prescott, Prescott Valley, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt.

The projects range from the $115,000 addition of a right-turn lane on Highway 89 at Verde Ranch Road, to the $2.3 million shoulder-widening project on Highway 89A between Prescott and Jerome.

This year's relatively minor projects contrast with the next fiscal year (2017), during which ADOT plans to take on the long-awaited $15 million widening of Highway 89 from the Highway 89A intersection to Deep Well Ranch Road south of Chino Valley.

"The next big project we have (in the Prescott area) is the Highway 89 widening project," ADOT District Engineer Alvin Stump said.

Still, this year's smaller projects could have significant impacts on the motorists who use the highways regularly.

For instance, Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) Administrator Chris Bridges pointed to the plans to add a traffic signal on Highway 69, at Humboldt's Main Street intersection.

"There was a fatality accident there a year or more ago," Bridges said. That, in turn, prompted the Dewey-Humboldt community ask ADOT to review the intersection for a possible traffic signal.

"It did meet warrants," Bridges said, referring to the standards ADOT uses to determine if a signal is warranted. Turning movements, collision history, peak-hour delays, approaching speeds, and traffic volumes are among the factors that go into signal warrant analysis.

"ADOT won't put in a signal unless it meets warrants," Bridges added.

Because of the need, the CYMPO executive board earlier agreed to put $500,000 of the organization's $650,000 annual allocation of federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds toward the signal.

The addition of the Humboldt signal will bring the total traffic lights on the Highway 69 corridor between the Gurley/Sheldon intersection in Prescott to Interstate 17 to about 28, Bridges said.

Stump said ADOT plans to advertise for bids for the signal project in December 2015, and begin construction in February/March 2016.

Other projects in the works for the Prescott area's state highways include:

• $346,000 in Highway 69 traffic-signal modifications at Kachina, Windsong, Heather Heights, and Prescott Lakes Parkway. Stump said the project, which will involve installation of larger mast arms, will place the signal heads above the appropriate lanes. The project should be ready to go out to bid this summer, with construction occurring in the fall.

• The $1.9 million Highway 89/Perkinsville roundabout - a project that Stump said should go out to bid this summer, and start construction in the fall.

• A $400,000 new intersection configuration at Highway 89/Kirkland Junction. Stump said the project likely would occur in 2016.

• The $115,000 Highway 89/Verde Ranch Road right-turn lanes - also likely occurring in 2016.

• The $2.3 million widening of shoulders on Highway 89A, between Prescott/Prescott Valley and Jerome. The project will take place in 2016.

• The $1 million turn lanes on Highway 169 at Cherry Creek Road, and the $1.47 million turn lanes on 169 at Cherry/Orme. Stump said the two projects would be grouped together and would go out for bid this summer, with construction starting in the fall.

Meanwhile, ADOT continues to work on several projects that began in the current fiscal year, including the Highway 89 widening from Deep Well Ranch Road to Chino Valley, and the Road 4 North intersection.

ADOT's Prescott District also includes a number of projects outside of the Prescott/Prescott Valley area - in the Payson, Verde Valley, and Wickenburg areas.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-642-0951.

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