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Traffic study agrees: SR 260 needs lanes
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 13:38

The Camp Verde Town Council is expected to approve a local transportation study next month that’s been two years in the making.

The $124,000 study was carried out by Jacobs Engineering, a firm that considered public input as well as research with other local groups, including Yavapai County and the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

The consultants used the information to come up with several suggestions for improving transportation in and around Camp Verde for both the short- and long-term, including automobile, bike and pedestrian traffic.

Camp Verde shouldered 20 percent of the cost of the study; the Arizona Department of Transportation paid for the rest.

The plan is to use the data as a blueprint of sorts when making future decisions about road projects, said Vamshi Yeselty with Jacobs Engineering.

“It helps to be more proactive in identifying potential problems,” Yeselty said.

Some of the firm’s suggestions have been on local wish lists for years, notably the need for widening State Route 260. The plan also takes into account a possible future expansion of Interstate 17 to six lanes through the area. Yeselty said there is also a need for more emergency access roads to keep local traffic moving in case there are problems with State Route 260 or I-17.

The study takes a look at the possibility of widening Montezuma Castle Highway and connecting Cherry Road with Reservation Loop Road.

Mayor Bob Burnside noted the maps the consultants were working with don’t show the new alignment of Cherry Road and State Route 260 by the recently installed traffic light near the Yavapai County Justice Center.

While the old maps don’t significantly change the consulting firm’s suggestions, Burnside said he wished newer maps could have been used considering what the study cost taxpayers.

The town has also discussed giving the Yavapai-Apache Nation control of parts of Old Highway 279; town engineer Ron Long said that plan was moving slowly due to legal issues surrounding these types of transfers.
“We’re still making progress,” Long said.

The council is currently reviewing the study and is tentatively scheduled to vote on it at the Wednesday, Oct. 7, meeting.

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