Pictured: A map of New River Road, and the 10 proposed safety improvement areas identified by MCDOT. Map courtesy of MCDOT
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Maricopa County looking to make safety improvements on New River Road


Tara Alatorre
NEW RIVER – The Maricopa County Department of Transportation held a public open house on April 18 to gather community input about potential safety improvements to New River Road between Desert Hills Drive and the Black Canyon Highway.

There were 10 proposed improvement alternatives that addressed turning movements, sight visibility and general safety along New River Road as part of Maricopa County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) study that kicked off in July 2017.
The study analyzed features that have the potential to affect driver safety.

The areas on New River road that MCDOT are looking to improve are: The Black Canyon Highway intersection; the 32nd Avenue intersection; the 27th Avenue intersection; the 23rd Avenue intersection; the area east of 23rd Avenue; 15th Avenue and Fig Springs Road intersection; North of Zorrillo Drive; Circle Mountain Road intersection; Honda Bow Road intersection; and the Desert Land intersection

There were large renderings displayed in New River Elementary’ s cafeteria last Thursday for residents to view that showed several different improvement options available to each of the 10 identified improvement areas, along with MCDOT staff available to answer questions. 
The department also gathered feedback surveys, so it could gather more public information and determine the preferred improvement alternatives of the community.

After analyzing the feedback from the open house, MCDOT will publish its recommendations and publicly present its findings, with the final report completed by this summer. Then construction for the improvements can begin shortly after.

“Based upon what we hear from the public tonight will determine what MCDOT decides to do,” said Denise Lacey a spokesperson for MCDOT at the open house.  “Restriping and signage will probably be addressed first because it is more feasible, but it depends on what information we get back from the public today.”

A majority of the improvements proposed were simply clearing of roadside vegetation, adding visibility easements, or grading hills to improve visibility, while other proposals suggesting adding stop signs to make some intersections to a 4-way stop or adding turning lanes to the existing roadways (this would not widen or expand New River road).

A complete map and details about the ten improvement areas can be found at www.maricopa.gov/4712/New-River-Road-Safety-Analysis.