There may be three key components driving transportation management in Maricopa, but according to three department heads, it is anything but easy as 1-2-3.
Transportation Manager Brent Billingsley, Public Works Director Bob Jackson and Finance Director and Interim City Manager Roger Kolman combined their efforts in a presentation to the Maricopa City Council Dec. 4, describing the staff’s goals for transportation as part of the city’s capital improvement plan. The transportation goals as part of that plan, said Jackson, focus around three major points: safety, mobility and connectivity.
The plan is part of the five-year CIP, which would begin in the next fiscal year, starting July 1, and stretching for the next five years. The CIP, which is used as a planning tool for major public infrastructure, would outline funding and timetables for road maintenance, traffic signal installations, road widening and larger grade separation and bridge building projects.
Kolman outlined the existing revenue streams for Maricopa – $1.4 million for maintenance and $7.4 million for construction with some fallback cash reserves – but again presented bonding options to the council for major projects down the road.
The council had several concerns, with one being a follow up to the PM-10 presentation by Billingsley at a November council meeting, in which he told council the federal government was pressuring the county to reign in dust control. If the federal government declared Pinal County in non-attainment, Billingsley said it would have a marked impact on the CIP process.
“If we can take some corrective steps now towards attainment, I think the feds are going to look at that positively,” Billingsley said, referring to an earlier statement by Jackson, who talked about the importance of linking up paved roads by paving stretches of dirt roads.
Billingsley said the CIP allowed to begin saving funds each fiscal year for major projects, saying even smaller projects, such as a traffic signal installation, can take one to two years from concept to the beginning of construction. Whereas major projects like the grade separation project on State Route 347 at the railroad crossing, could take between five to nine years and cost upwards of $40 to 80 million.
It is the cost in addition to the time, Billingsley said, that make the process of long-term coordinated planning through the CIP of vital importance to the city. He gave project cost estimates to demonstrate this, saying one mile of arterial road construction costs $660,000, a four-lane bridge like the one planned for Honeycutt Road would cost roughly $3 million and installation of traffic signals run $400,000 per project.
Billingsley said those wishing to get a widening project of SR 347 in the consciousness of the ADOT State Transportation Board should call Maricopa’s representative, Delbert Householder, at (602) 712-7550. As part of that board’s five-year plan, no money has been set aside for widening SR 347.
Applications needed for council seat
The city opened a brief two-week window to accept applications for residents who would like to serve the completion of former Councilmember Stephen Baker’s term.
The council will accept all completed applications up until its next meeting, Dec. 18, at which point they will review the submissions and select a replacement for Baker. The applicant cannot be running for council or the mayor’s seat in the spring, Mayor Kelly Anderson said.
For an application or more information, call City Hall at (520) 568-908 or visit the city’s Web site, www.cityofmaricopa.net. Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume in addition to the application.