Beaverhead Flat Road to open in June

Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis says he is positive the newly paved Beaverhead Flat Road is the most scenic and beautiful road in Arizona.

"The roadway was especially designed to maintain the rural character of the area," Davis emphasized.

The county plans to open the road to the public June 6. Community members and county staff will meet on the west side of Beaverhead Flat Road at the scenic overlook one mile south of Arizona 179 for the special 10 a.m. opening celebration.

The entire 6.2-mile long roadway is within the Coconino National Forest, according to Regional Roads Program Manager Phil Bourdon. He noted that Forest Service personnel have been very cooperative in working with the county.

"The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process began in January of 1999 when the Forest Service and Yavapai County held a public meeting explaining the project," Bourdon said. "If it weren’t for the diligence and dedication of Ken Anderson and Judy Adams, the project could have taken a lot longer."

Biozone Inc. completed the necessary environmental documents with that process ending in July 2000.

"Actual construction began Sept. 28, 2000, so the project has proceeded at a real steady pace," Bourdon said.

C&E Paving of Flagstaff was awarded the construction contract for roadway and drainage improve-ments. The Yavapai County half-cent sales tax, development impact fees, and a contribution from the Northern Arizona Council of Governments funded the project.

Davis said Beaverhead Flat Road was designed to correct sight distance and drainage problems. The roadway features two 14-foot wide paved travel lanes with four-foot wide gravel shoulders.

"The roadway was constructed with four inches of asphaltic concrete over eight inches of aggregate base material," Yavapai County Public Works Director Richard Straub said. "Turn lane improvements at the Cornville Road and State Route 179 intersections with Beaverhead Flat Road were included as part of the project."

He added that the speed limit will be posted at 50 mph.

"Another exciting part of the completed package," Supervisor Davis continued, "is a natural trails pathway along the west side of the roadway that will provide connectivity to the Verde Valley trails system."

"This is indeed an exciting time for the citizens of the Verde Valley," Davis said. He hopes for a great turnout at the opening ceremonies. "The public is cordially invited to come and see their new road."

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