Highway 68 options topic for ADOT meeting in Golden Valley

GOLDEN VALLEY - The Arizona Department of Transportation is holding a meeting Wednesday to discuss a study on improving traffic safety and mobility on State Route 68.

Participants at the meeting will have an opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives with ADOT officials and engineers who are conducting the study.

A stakeholders meeting is set for 1-2:30 p.m., and residents and property owners can attend from 4-5:30 p.m. The meeting is being held at Golden Valley Fire District's training center, 423 S. Colorado Road.

Stakeholders include officials from ADOT, Department of Public Safety, Mohave County, Western Arizona Council of Governments, Arizona State Land Department and business owners.

The study will provide recommendations to improve State Route 68 from milepost 14 to the interchange at U.S. Highway 93, roughly a 13-mile stretch.

ADOT started the project assessment study in September, anticipating that traffic volume along the highway corridor will increase due to new business development, recreational activities along the Colorado River and tourism in Laughlin.

The purpose of the study is to determine potential design alternatives to improve traffic flow and enhance safety on the highway, which handles up to 12,000 vehicles a day traveling through Golden Valley.

"The initial study will analyze existing and projected traffic and safety data, identify potential improvements and specific projects, develop an implementation plan with project prioritization and phasing, and obtain community feedback," ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel said in an email to the Daily Miner.

The study is expected to be completed in fall 2016, and ADOT will schedule a public meeting in the spring for community input. Currently, no funding has been identified for any potential work on State Route 68, Krugel said.

Upon completion, the study will recommend potential improvements that can be implemented through available funding.

In order to move forward, it would have to be added to ADOT's five-year plan, which serves as a blueprint for future projects and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for those projects.

"A potential project goes through several levels of review to become part of the tentative five-year program before the program is presented to the State Transportation Board of consideration and approval," Krugel said.