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$2 million project aims to slow traffic on 12th Street
Written by Greg Ruland   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 12:00


A 4,000-foot-stretch of 12th Street would be narrowed and a separate path for bikes and pedestrians installed if proposals endorsed by city engineers are eventually approved by Cottonwood City Council.

People who live along the thoroughfare told city engineers at recent neighborhood meetings the $2 million reconstruction project should focus on slowing vehicles and installing sewer lines from State Route 89A to Fir Street.

During a work session July 12, Cottonwood City Council directed staff to come up with a plan that would narrow 12th Street from 29 feet to 25 feet in width and leave room for wastewater lines in the future, but would not install the sewer infrastructure desired by some residents.During a work session July 12, council directed staff to come up with a plan that would narrow 12th Street from 29 feet to 25 feet in width and leave room for wastewater lines in the future, but would not install the sewer infrastructure desired by some residents.

Council also agreed electric lines currently strung on posts along the roadway should be placed underground as recommended by city engineers.

Tom Pender, a Cottonwood engineer hired by the city to design the new roadway, said the job could go out to bid as soon as January and would take about one year to complete.

The $487,000 cost of sewer installation, about $27,000 for each of the 18 residences that would benefit, was too expensive at this time, council concluded. Instead, utility sleeves will be placed along the street in strategic locations to allow for future utility construction.

Sewer lines eventually installed along 12th Street could be extended to the Verde Palisades neighborhood located west of 12th Street when the time comes, city engineer Morgan Scott told council.

Twelfth Street currently has a pavement width of 29 feet, which allows 11-foot-wide vehicle lanes and a 3.5-foot-wide bike lane.

“This overly wide roadway” encourages speeding above the posted 25 mph limit, according to Scott.

Narrowing the road to 25 feet in width would slow vehicles. In addition, the narrower road would allow the city to “save substantial cost by not relocating as many utility lines nor purchasing as much additional right-of-way,” Scott and city engineer Troy Odell wrote in a memo to council.

The existing bike lane on 12th Street would be relocated and combined with the sidewalks to form an 8- to 10-foot wide multiuse path detached from the roadway for safety reasons.

The concrete multiuse path would meander for “aesthetic reasons” and to avoid expensive utility relocation. Additional easements must be purchased to allow for the meandering path, but buying these easements will be less expensive than purchasing public utilities easements and relocating utility lines, according to the memo.

Council directed staff to return in 60 days with a more detailed plan that shows how the recommended reconstruction would look.

Council also directed staff to host additional meetings in the future to allow residents more opportunities to review and comment on the plan.



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