Construction along State Route 260 now extends over seven miles, from a half mile past the Jones Ford complex in the west to the Interstate 17 intersection in the east.
According to Arizona Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Ryan Harding, “The SR 260 project is on schedule and moving along. Crews are working on three roundabouts concurrently. Most of the work is grading the dirt and the start of curb installation.”
The roundabouts under construction are Cherry Creek Road, Horseshoe Bend Road and what ADOT has labeled Roundabout 5, which Harding said is located at a future connection with SR 260. Roundabout 5 is one of two such intersections placed to accommodate future development.
“The biggest traffic impact coming up is the temporary signal crews will install at Cherry Creek Road in the first part of November,” Harding said. “This temporary intersection will shift traffic away from the current intersection so crews can complete the roundabout there. That will be the most noticeable change.”
Graphic by ADOT
Drivers moving at high speeds through the construction zone continue to put crews and other drivers at risk, but Harding said ADOT has posted additional lower speed limit signs. The organization continues to coordinate with local law enforcement to ensure safety.
“We’ve maintained access to businesses throughout the project,” Harding said. “We continue to work with business owners along the route to make sure they are aware of any restrictions along the highway. We also continue to take steps to minimize impacts to traffic through the area as much as possible.”
Such steps are not to everyone’s liking: Louann Patterson, co-owner of Copper Star Indoor Shooting Range, said, “Business has definitely been impacted negatively …. Everyone’s avoiding the construction because it’s dangerous. Nobody wants to deal with that.”
Copper Star, which sits along SR 260, was formerly accessed via West Cherry Creek Road and North Commonwealth Drive. Patterson paid to have an access road, West Sharp Shooter Way, graded and paved. That road is now accessible to eastbound drivers along SR 260.
“I haven’t seen any increased business for it,” Patterson said. “And now that we have it, I think it’s dangerous out there. They really didn’t make a turning lane for people coming from Cottonwood.”
As for the the SR 260’s potential to improve business once completed, Patterson was equivocal.
“You know, only time will tell that,” Patterson said, adding that she has seen no major efforts to encourage business growth along the highway. “Does no good to build a road if you don’t build anything around it.”