Print City under construction
Written by Staff Reporter   
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 13:17

At its March 18 regular meeting, the Cottonwood City Council got the Hwy. 89A update the Clarkdale Town Council had hoped to get on March 11.

The Clarkdale council update by Arizona Department of Transportation and S.J. Lewis Company representatives had to be postponed.

ADOT Engineer Tom Ward told the Cottonwood City Council of the benefits roundabouts provide.

The Hwy. 89A widening project between Cement Plant Road and Blackhills/Verde Heights Drive will have five of them.

Roundabouts keep traffic moving and have fewer conflict points and accidents than traffic light intersections, Ward said.

They also cut down on pollution since there is no stopping or idling on roundabouts.

“Roundabouts are relatively new to this area and have been an issue with some of the public,” Public Works Director Tim Costello told the council.
They’re also an issue for some council members.

“I don’t like roundabouts,” said Councilman Duane Kirby, who lamented the fact that he can hardly get to Hwy. 89A from his home near the construction site anymore.

Kirby said he’s heard some states in the East are doing away with them and he’d like to examine the data that indicates roundabouts are better and/or safer than stoplight intersections.

ADOT spokesman Bill Williams said he would provide it for him.
“Roundabouts have a level of initial controversy,” Costello told the council.

S.J. Lewis believes they could have the Hwy. 89A project done as early as December, far ahead of the scheduled April 2009 completion date.

The first roundabout at Cement Plant Road should begin by the end of March, Williams said. It will take approximately six weeks due to the small width of Cement Plant Road.

Succeeding roundabouts will take significantly less time to complete, but ADOT plans to allow motorists plenty of time to get used to the first one before beginning the rest.

“My concern is the educational component of the roundabouts since we have so many seniors here,” Mayor Diane Joens said.

ADOT intends to address that, Williams said, and has set up a roundabout navigation and education Web site at

Work on the 2.2-mile Hwy. 260 project from Thousand Trails to Western Drive in Cottonwood is also progressing on schedule.

“In the past 30 days, crews have succeeded in clearing brush, removing culverts and excavating areas near bridges,” Williams stated in a press release.

Traffic has not been impacted nearly as much as it has on Hwy. 89A since the construction activity is off the existing roadway but as the project proceeds toward Western Drive later this spring, motorists may experience delays due to lane restrictions.

ADOT and the Prescott National Forest want the public to know that Forest Road 9606J, which provides access to the Black Canyon River Access site and the Black Canyon Wash shooting site near Cottonwood is closed due to its proximity to the construction area.