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Tue, June 25

ADOT narrows focus
Two possibilities for Beale Street/Interstate 40 junction studied

SUZANNE ADAMS/Miner<br>
Ahmad Omais, a consultant project manager from Kimley-Horn & Associates, describes where in the planning process the Arizona Department of Transportation is on improvements for the I-40/Beale Street interchange.

SUZANNE ADAMS/Miner<br> Ahmad Omais, a consultant project manager from Kimley-Horn & Associates, describes where in the planning process the Arizona Department of Transportation is on improvements for the I-40/Beale Street interchange.

KINGMAN - The Arizona Department of Transportation has narrowed its focus to two possible corridors to improve traffic flow at the Interstate 40 and Beale Street interchange.

ADOT representatives revealed some of the details of the project to residents during a meeting Thursday evening at Palo Christi Elementary School.

ADOT first brought the project before the public in March, when the department had eight possible ways to route traffic from I-40 to U.S. Highway 93 and improve the traffic flow at the I-40/Beale Street interchange.

The department has seen an increase in traffic congestion at the interchange and expects a 320-percent increase in traffic in that area by 2040, if nothing is done. Such an increase could lead to a delay of more than eight minutes to get onto I-40 from the northbound U.S. 93 lanes.

After listening to concerns from residents in March and studying possible routes, the department has narrowed the scope of the study to two possible corridors, accodring to Ahmad Omais, Kimley-Horn & Associates consultant project manager.

One corridor would improve the existing interchange, possibly widening the area and adding a second, elevated highway area. The cost could run as high as $204 million, if an elevated area is needed.

The second corridor would run slightly to the north of the existing interchange and could cost as much as $51 million.

The department is studying potential routes right now and does not have an exact route planned out for each corridor yet, Omais said. And ADOT is not eliminating any possible routes just yet.

"At this level we're just trying to look for the fatal flaws, the showstoppers in these possibilities," Omais said.

The department looked at a number of factors in determining which of the eight potential routes were most feasible, including how many miles a motorist would have to drive to get to the next interchange; whether a route impacted Bureau of Land Management land or a recreation area, such as the Cerbat Foothills; how much private or city land a route would impact; whether an archaeological or historical site would be impacted; possible conflicts with washes or wells; and the cost of the project.

Residents had numerous question sheets for ADOT representatives.

One regarded what would happen to the current interchange at I-40 and Beale Street.

Omais said the interchange would still exist, although it might be slightly changed.

Another regarded where the proposed corridors would connect with I-40 and U.S. 93.

ADOT had not studied that part of the project yet, Omais said. At this point in time, ADOT was only looking for the best possible routes. The study of the terrain, possible archaeological sites and other obstacles would be determined in the next stage of the study. At that time, ADOT would be able to come back to the area with a detailed map of where the route was likely to be built.

When the department would be coming back to the public with more details depends on how long it takes to finish the study, said Kingman ADOT District Engineer Mike Kondelis.

Another question dealt with the possibility of compensation for private property taken by ADOT.

ADOT tries to avoid impacting or having to purchase private property from residents, but if ADOT does have to purchase property they use appraisals to get a fair price for both parties.

A handful of questions were raised about the CANAMEX corridor, which includes U.S. 93.

The CANAMEX corridor was not pushing the project, Omais said. The congestion at the interchange was creating the demand for increased traffic flow.

Omais estimated that it might take more 10 to 12 years to finish improvements to the interchange.

More information on the project can be found at http://www.azdot.gov/highways/districts/kingman/I40_US93_WestKingmanTI.asp.

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