While still in the planning phases, documents provided at a recent community meeting are showing a glimpse of what could be with the Northern Parkway project as it continues its extension between State Routes 303 and 101 in the West Valley.
Residents who met with officials from the Maricopa County Department of Transportation at a meeting at Country Meadows Elementary School saw designs of a bridge that will be constructed over the Agua Fria River, as well as road changes as the two- to four-lane Northern Avenue becomes six to eight lanes.
MCDOT has been in partnership with multiple cities and the Arizona Department of Transportation on the over $612 million project. Plans call for Northern Parkway to extend from Loop 303 to US 60/Grand Avenue. Currently, Northern Parkway runs from Loop 303 to Dysart Road, then becomes Northern Avenue all the way into central Phoenix.
According to MCDOT documents, the new parts of Northern Parkway could be as wide as 84 feet or 110 feet in some areas. From the Agua Fria River to 112th Avenue, there would be three lanes in each direction, along with a median — a combined width of 84 feet.
A new bridge will run over the Agua Fria River, with designs possibly creating a walking path for pedestrians.
“It’s important that the bridge over the Agua Fria river not only functions well as a bridge, but looks attractive to the community,” spokesman T. Chad Amos stated.
From 112th to 103rd avenues, provided documents show the same number of lanes and median. However, there would also be sidewalks on each side of the road, along with a 6-foot buffer between the sidewalks and the roadway. A fourth lane would be added between 103rd and 99th avenues.
As Northern Parkway begins extending into southern Peoria, concerns are likely to arise about the construction’s effects on existing homes directly north — Peoria — and south — Glendale — of Northern Avenue.
MCDOT says the project team spoke with many attendees at the public meeting in Peoria and shared information with them regarding the updated project. The public meeting process is designed to solicit input and feedback from the public regarding the project which is shared with the project team for consideration.
“Depending on the roadway alternatives selected, there may be some buildings and/or properties that are affected where additional right of way is needed,” Mr. Amos stated. “However, the right of way needs will not be officially determined until February 2021.”
The maps provided at the meeting showed that additional right of way could potentially be needed. However, officials have yet to determine that. If it does become necessary, MCDOT says it will follow Federal Fair Housing Guidelines.
The $612.6 million figure was the projected cost for the entire corridor described in the 2010 Design Concept Report, including a bypass crossing Loop 101 and grade separation structures throughout the full 12-mile corridor between Loop 303 and Grand Avenue.
Current estimated project cost for the segment discussed at the recent public meeting — which is between the Agua Fria Bridge and 99th Avenue — is $50 million to $60 million.
It is important to note that current alternative documents are not the final design, as officials continue to gather feedback from the public which could affect the final design.
Scoping is underway for the section between the Agua Fria River and 99th Avenue, while scoping between Loop 101 and Grand Avenue has already been completed. Designing between 99th and 87th avenues will occur in the summer.
As for the current construction between Dysart Road and the Agua Fria, MCDOT says they are on schedule for substantial completion and possible opening to traffic at the end of August.