KINGMAN - Despite a down economy rife with budget cuts, 2010 was still one of the most productive years on record for the Arizona Department of Transportation's Kingman district.
While ADOT's biggest and most high-profile project this year was the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, itself a gargantuan accomplishment that included cooperation with the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, 2010 also saw the completion of the Kingman district's single most expensive project to date, a $71 million project to widen 15 miles of U.S. Highway 93 into a four-lane highway on its approach to the dam. The widening also included a new trailhead and a new scenic overlook, with upgrades to another existing overlook and the construction of three wildlife crossings over the highway to provide a safe crossing for the desert bighorn sheep, native to the area.
Kingman residents also saw their entire length of I-40 repaved, from Rattlesnake Wash to Holy Moses Wash, with additional work on U.S. 93 south, adding a parallel road from milepost 104 to 106 to make that stretch of road a divided four-lane highway.
But while ADOT did a substantial amount of work locally in 2010, there's still always more to do, especially along U.S. 93 on its approach to Kingman, where heavy rains, both recent and farther back, have badly damaged the road, creating a stretch of rough spots that run all the way into town from the State Route 68 junction.
According to ADOT spokeswoman Michele Beggs, ADOT had originally hoped to begin work on repaving that section of 93 earlier this year, but design and funding issues prevented the work from starting.
Now, however, the design has been completed and the project is set to get under way by late spring or early summer. According to Beggs, the project will be a comprehensive roadway improvement in both directions from Grandview Avenue in downtown Kingman all the way to Ranch Road in Golden Valley just outside of the So-Hi Estates neighborhood.
"It is going to be an expensive project - it's almost a 10-mile project, north and southbound lanes," Beggs said. "There were drainage concerns, shoulder-widening issues, but we're on track now and construction will start in spring/summer 2011."
In the meantime, she said, ADOT crews will continue to repair the immediate damage on an ongoing basis prior to the actual resurfacing work.
Elsewhere in the district, motorists can expect to see continued work along U.S. 93 south from Interstate 40 to Wikieup. Beggs said ADOT expects to continue transforming that portion of highway into a four-lane divided road, with 2011 efforts focused on a seven-mile stretch from Wagon Bow Ranch to Deluge Wash, mileposts 109 to 116.
Beggs said that once those new lanes are constructed, there will be only three more such projects to do before the entire stretch of 93 will be four lanes wide.
"We have only three more widenings from Wikieup to Interstate 40, and two of those are already funded for Fiscal Year 2014," she said.