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Thu, Dec. 12

Road 1 North/Highway 89 traffic signal in Chino Valley slated for funding in fiscal year 2022

CHINO VALLEY - A collision near Highway 89 and Road 1 North that sent both drivers to the hospital this past week has renewed discussion about the need for a traffic signal at the busy corner.

Chino Valley Police Lt. Vince Schaan reported that an 81-year-old Chino Valley woman was attempting to exit onto Highway 89 from the Chino Valley Medical Center at about noon Jan. 26, when her car was hit by an oncoming vehicle driven by a 19-year-old woman.

"The collision resulted in both drivers being transported to YRMC (Yavapai Regional Medical Center) for medical care," Schaan reported.

Later that evening, Todd League, co-owner of the nearby Overflow Coffee, approached the Chino Valley Town Council to voice concerns about the intersection.

He pointed out that the intersection combines highway traffic with side traffic from both Road 1 North and the medical center - a combination that he said adds up to "a big issue there."

Although the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) had notified him more than a year and a half ago that a stop light would be going in at Road 1 North, League said the project appears to have been bumped down the line because of budget issues.

"My intention is to have the council look at that and maybe bump that up on the docket if we can," League added.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Chris Bridges, administrator for the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) regional transportation-planning group, said funding for the traffic signal comes down to a matter of priorities.

This year, Bridges said, CYMPO shifted its annual $600,000 allocation of federal Surface Transportation Program money to the Perkinsville Road/Highway 89 roundabout. In fact, ADOT announced this week that construction would begin on the $1.5 million Perkinsville/Highway 89 roundabout on Feb. 1, with completion slated for about September.

With CYMPO's federal money for fiscal year 2016 going toward the Perkinsville project, the Road 1 North traffic signal has been pushed off until fiscal-year 2022, Bridges said.

CYMPO's annual allocations in the meantime are slated for other regional projects: fiscal years 2017 and '18 - the Highway 89 widening between Deep Well Ranch Road and the Highway 89/89A; years '19 and '20 - the widening of Highway 69 between the Yavpe Connector and the Prescott Gateway Mall; and year '21 - the Robert Road traffic interchange in Prescott Valley.

Bridges said CYMPO, which is made up of representatives from each of the area governments, saw the Highway 69 widening as a priority for safety reasons.

"There have been 582 accidents on that stretch of highway in the last five years," Bridges said. The widening is estimated to cost about $10 million, and CYMPO's federal money would cover a portion.

The Highway 89/Road 1 North intersection also has seen its share of accidents in recent years.

Schaan reports that the corner was the site of four non-injury collisions in 2015; two non-injury collisions in 2014; one injury and two non-injury collisions in 2013; and three injury and three non-injury collisions in 2012.

Before that, the intersection had a total of 26 crashes between January 2007 and December 2011, ADOT District Engineer Alvin Stump said. Of those, Stump said, 11 were angle-related crashes, and four were left-turn related crashes.

Depending on the severity of the collision history, the $600,000 Road 1 North/Highway 89 traffic signal could be eligible for federal highway safety-improvement money - a possibility that CYMPO would continue looking into, Bridges said.

Meanwhile, the CYMPO Technical Advisory Committee (made up of engineering staff members) will be discussing the organization's recommendations for its fiscal-year 2016 to 2025 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Prescott Valley Library Auditorium, 7401 E. Civic Center Circle, Prescott Valley.

Ultimately, decisions on the funding priorities lie with the CYMPO Executive Board, which is made up of representatives from the respective town and city councils, Yavapai County, and ADOT. The next board meeting is set for 4 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Yavapai County Administration Building, 1015 Fair St., Prescott.

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

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