Establishing new right-of-way for the imminent construction phase of the State Route 24 Gateway Freeway is to be considered at the April 17 meeting of the State Transportation Board.
The telephonic/video-only meeting begins at 9 a.m. Friday. To watch the meeting, use the webex link at aztransportationboard.gov.
A resolution on the right-of-way is part of the consent agenda, to be approved with other items in one motion.
Work on an interim State Route 24 Gateway Freeway north of the Town of Queen Creek, for two lanes in each direction between Ellsworth Road and Ironwood Drive, is to begin in fall 2020, Arizona Department of Transportation officials said late last year.
Phase I of State Route 24 opened in 2014 from the Loop 202 Santan Freeway to Ellsworth Road. Now, ADOT, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, is designing a 5-mile interim phase II section, with construction anticipated to begin in Fall 2020, officials said at a community meeting in November.
A portion of the existing alignment was previously established as a state route and approved and adopted as part of the State Route Plan of the Gateway Freeway in February 2015. Additional portions of right of way were approved and adopted into the Gateway Freeway State Route Plan, and were established as a state route in 2017, 2018 and 2019, State Engineer Dallas L. Hammit, ADOT deputy director for transportation, said in a memo to the State Transportation Board.
In the interest of public safety, necessity and convenience, it is recommended that new right-of-way be established as a state route and state highway, and that access is controlled, he said.
“New right-of-way is now needed to accommodate design change and facilitate the imminent construction phase of the Gateway Freeway to enhance convenience and safety for the traveling public,” Mr. Hammit said.
“I recommend the acquisition of the new right of way, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 28–7092 and 28–7094, as an estate in fee, or such other interest as is required, including advance, future and early acquisition, access rights, exchanges or donations, haul roads, material for construction, and various easements in any property necessary for or incidental to the improvements, as delineated on said maps and plans,” Mr. Hammit said in the memo.
The resolution to be considered by the State Transportation Board states that the deputy director is to secure an appraisal of the property to be acquired, including access rights, and that necessary parties be compensated --- with the exception of any existing county, town or city roadways being immediately established as a state route and state highway.
“Upon failure to acquire said lands by other lawful means, the deputy director is authorized to initiate condemnation proceedings,” the resolution states.