It'll take big bucks to ease city traffic woes, study says

KINGMAN – Traffic will get worse as the city grows rapidly, and millions of dollars will have to be spent before it gets better.

That is the conclusion of Kingman Area Transport Study II.

The report has short- , medium- and long-range solutions and policy choices that will help the Kingman City Council outline priority action.

The time range used is five years for short range, 10 years for midrange and 20 years for a long-range horizon.

One new option is the purchase of land at Fairgrounds Boulevard and Andy Devine Avenue for the Harrison Street fire station.

That would allow realignment of Harrison and Louise streets into an intersection at Andy Devine Avenue, where drivers have to make left turns onto either street.

Estimated cost for the project is $5.9 million to $7.8 million.

The study recommends a variety of transportation construction that would cost $132.5 million over 20 years.

The projected city revenue to pay for the projects is $27 million, leaving a gap of approximately $104 million.

The report by the firm Parsons Brinckerhoff suggests some cost-sharing options.

"Many of the recommended projects will involve more than one jurisdiction and will be supported by planned development.

There will be significant opportunities to share the cost of the plan among various stakeholders," the draft final report states.

The Kingman City Council is working with developers to share costs for the Airway Avenue extension and railroad underpass and the proposed Kingman Crossing interchange on Interstate 40 in east Kingman.

To the west, along Stockton Hill road, The Home Depot and Wal-Mart will build turn lanes and share costs for traffic signals as those stores are built.

In north Kingman, the widening of North Bank Street from Airway Avenue to Gordon Drive, which is planned for the current fiscal year, will be funded mostly with federal and state highway money funneled through the Western Arizona Council of Governments.

Still, outside revenue, developer fees and tax revenue will not fully fund total infrastructure needs during the next 20 years.

Kingman voters approved a secondary bond tax to build Airway Avenue.

The same voters defeated a proposed primary property tax for long-range street projects in a March 1994 election.

The city does not have the legal bonding capacity to finance all the projects in the Parsons Brinckerhoff study.

It confirms what residents have long known about Stockton Hill Road – it is the most crowded corridor in Kingman.

The major solutions include widening the road from four to six lanes from Andy Devine Avenue to Jagerson Avenue, a distance of about four and a half miles.

The cost would be approximately $15 million.

City revenue now includes $1.36 million per year for building roads.

Improving the I-40 interchange at Stockton Hill Road would cost $14 million and is an Arizona Department of Transportation project.

Some local funding would be required and the project must compete with other projects on the state's priority list.

It is not yet in the ADOT five-year plan.

The Kingman city staff, mayor and City Council are currently reviewing a draft final report of the transportation study.

A public meeting has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

to 6 p.m.

Thursday in the meeting room at the Kingman Police Department to review the study recommendations.

Call Dennis Roberts at 753-8132 for more information.