KINGMAN - The City Council on Tuesday reversed its March 15 decision on where the next Interstate 40 crossing will be built and picked Kingman Crossing over Prospector Street.
The Council on that date in a rare 3-2 vote - due to the absence of two members - chose Prospector because it would initially be less expensive - $6-plus million versus $9-plus million - but on Tuesday Councilman Larry Carver, who voted for Prospector Street as the point to open access under the freeway in eastern Kingman in March, said he requested the issue be revisited because "I didn't consider the $7 million in savings."
Carver was referring to plans to make Kingman Crossing the next traffic interchange along I-40 and staff estimates that putting in the access road now would cut about $7 million from the estimated $25 million cost of the interchange, which would be the fourth in Kingman, located between Stockton Hill Road and Rattlesnake Wash. To be clear, the current issue has nothing to do with the proposed Kingman Crossing planned development, but with improving access for motorists and emergency responders in eastern Kingman. Still, staff in its recommendation said choosing Kingman Crossing Boulevard over Prospector Street could "kick start" development on both sides of the interstate.
Things got testy between Mayor Richard Anderson and Councilwoman Jen Miles when the subject came up thanks to a misunderstanding over why the issue was back on the agenda in the first place.
Miles believed it was done so the full Council could vote on the issue even though it is legal for the quorum to be reduced to three when only five members are present and she didn't want to set a precedent.
"Let me finish," she exclaimed when Anderson interrupted her. "My turn" loudly responded Anderson a few moments later when Miles interrupted him.
That's when Carver explained he asked for the item to be brought back over cost concerns, but Miles noted Councilman Stuart Yocum also asked for it to be revisited in order to have the full Council present.
That drama aside, the Council - despite commenting on issues not germane to what was in front of them - voted 7-0 to change the access point to Kingman Crossing.
Even that decision is not without heartburn as the road will dead-end where it meets a large tract of state land, which will force drivers to jog left or right. Staff was directed to write a letter to the Arizona State Land Department for permission to extend the road through the property at approximately the midway point.
City Engineer Greg Henry told the Council the state refused to allow the city to build an access road through its land. When asked how long ago that decision was made, Henry said "about six or seven years ago." He was directed to make a fresh inquiry to see if the state has changed its mind. If that occurs, the road would extend from Hualapai Mountain Road to Airway Avenue.