One of the hot topics and/or complaints discussed by many residents Mohave County over a cup of coffee and on the various social media outlets is the current condition of the county’s roadways. How-ever, many don’t understand the county encompasses an extremely large area.
Mohave County has 13,461 square miles, is the second largest county in Arizona and the fifth largest in the contiguous United States.
Of the above-mentioned square miles, the county has 10,049 miles of roads, of which 2,107 miles are maintained by the county’s Road Division. That includes 89.91 miles of tertiary maintained dirt roads, 1,209.33 miles of regularly scheduled maintained dirt roads, 807.76 miles of hard-serviced roads and of those figures, 871.05 are designated as county highways
Tertiary roads are defined as public road maintenance that consists only of roadway maintenance and minor repairs which normally only occur after all other road-way maintenance operations in the county are completed. “The tertiary-road designation falls under ARS 28-6705(B), which provides that the Board of Supervisors (BOS) may spend public funds for maintenance of roadways that were not laid out, constructed, and opened before June 13, 1990, even if the roads were not constructed to a county standard,” said Mohave County Public Works Director Steven Latoski. “While other Arizona counties may not use the tertiary descriptor, we understand certain counties, such as Pinal, provide a ‘courtesy’ maintenance when not meeting adopted county standards.”
The county maintains 89.91 miles tertiary roads. That includes 35.93 miles in Golden Valley, 24.91 miles in Dolan Springs, and 2.42 miles in Meadview, one mile in White Hills, 2.47 miles in Lake Havasu City (areas outside the city limits), 3.05 miles in Mohave Valley and 20.13 miles in other areas of the county such as the Arizona Strip.
Regularly-maintained dirt (unsurfaced) roads are maintained through an assigned blade route and are normally graded on an interval of five weeks. However, according to county officials, the interval may be adjusted due to unscheduled assignments for road repair during flooding and periods of heavy snow fall.
The county is responsible for 1,209.33 miles of regularly-maintained unsurfaced roads. That includes 123.70 miles in Gold-en Valley, 48.87 miles in Dolan Springs, and 9.34 miles in Meadview, 7.88 miles in White Hills, 6.81 miles in Lake Havasu City (areas outside the city limits), 64.96 miles in Mohave Valley and 946.77 miles in other areas of the county such as the Arizona Strip.
Also under the regularly-maintained road designation are those that are hard surfaced. That includes 74.75 miles in Golden Valley (parts of Oatman Highway falls within its geographic boundaries), 30.84 miles in Dolan Springs, and 50.91 miles in Meadview, 17.92 miles in White Hills, 31.50 miles in Lake Havasu City (areas outside the city limits), 237.03 miles in Mohave Valley and 364.81 miles in other areas of the county such as the Arizona Strip, for a total of 807.76 miles.
There are four roads currently on the waiting list to be hard surfaced. They are Bolsa Drive from Egar Road west to Gilbert Road and Egar Road from Agua Fria Drive to Chinle Drive, both in Golden Valley, and two small roadway sections - .11 miles of Round Valley Road north of I-40 (east of Kingman) and .55 miles of Bolsa Drive from Shipping Lane to Grossman Road in the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park. According to county officials, those above-mentioned projects are on hold due to the non-availability of millings (ground up asphalt from previously re-paired roads).
As part of the regularly-maintained (both un-surfaced and surfaced roads), there are 871.05 miles of roads that are designated as a county highway. That includes 92.46 miles in Golden Valley, 52.71 miles in Dolan Springs, and 45.79 miles in Meadview, 17.92 miles in White Hills, 3.67 miles in Lake Havasu City (areas outside the city limits), and 126.18 miles in Mohave Valley and 532.32 miles in other areas of the county such as the Arizona Strip.
In order for a resident to have a road placed in the tertiary-road maintenance program, regularly-maintained dirt road program and/or designated as a county highway, they must submit a petition with resident signatures to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. The BOS will, in turn, submit the petition to the Public Works for review and written recommendation. Depending upon the type of petition by a resident, county regulations stipulate how many signatures are required.
In the case of a county highway designation, Public Works submits the petition and its recommendation to the Mohave County Transportation Commission (a volunteer 10-member-citizen-advisory committee that represents the five Supervisor Districts) for review and recommendation. Each of the five supervisors is allowed two volunteers on the commission. Currently there are only six members serving on the Transportation Commission - Supervisor District 3 Buster Johnson does not have anyone serving, Supervisor District 1 Gary Watson only has one person serving on the advisory committee, Supervisor District 4 Jean Bishop is also short one member and only Supervisor District 5 Steve Moss and Supervisor District 2 Hildy Angius have no vacancies.
As part of the process of petitioning the BOS to have a road designated as a county highway, citizens are allowed to appear before the Transportation Commission monthly meeting and plead their case about their petition and, of course, other concerned citizens are also allowed to speak to the various agenda items.
Once the review and recommendations are complete, Public Works provides the BOS with written documentation indicating the particular road either meets or does not meet the design standards. Part of their written recommendation includes, but is not limited to, answers to questions such as: the estimated average traffic usage; the number of residents residing along the particular road; does the roadway serve a school, church or other public facility; is the roadway used as a school bus route; is the roadway used as a mail route; does the roadway serve a county park; is the roadway the most viable route in and out of a particular area; does the road connect with a county maintained road; the need for the roadway to provide essential fire, law enforcement or other emergency services; the overall conditions of the road-way as it exists at the time of the petition; and last but not least, the land use of the properties the roadway travels through and serves.
For further information and questions about the Transportation Division and roadways located within the county, con-tact the Mohave County Public Works De-partment at (928) 757-0910, visit their of-fices located at 3715 Sunshine Drive in Kingman or visit them on the web at http://www.mohavecounty.us.