260 improvements unveiled

Construction should begin next fall.

The money is in the bank. The engineering will be done next May The project will go to bid next summer and construction should begin next fall.

That is the word from Dallas Hammit, district engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation on the improvements scheduled for the section of State Route 260 between Interstate 17 and Thousand Trails Road.

Addressing a crowd of about 60 people in the Camp Verde School District's Multi-Use Center on Wednesday, Hammit said the roadway improvements, which include realignments, passing lanes and turn lanes will make for a safer road, capable of carrying more traffic.

The $7.8 million worth of improvements will include the realignment of Cherry Road, Out of Africa entry, Old 279 and the County Justice Facility entry into a single intersection with a traffic light.

The plan is to also realign Horseshoe Bend so it meets 260 at a perpendicular angle. There is no light planned for that intersection at this time.

Other improvements will include uphill passing lanes between Coury Drive and Old 279 at Hayfield Draw.

Hammit said the estimated costs to do the work is slightly more than what was originally set aside. However, he said he was confident ADOT would make up for any shortfall.

The project will take approximately nine months to complete.

The roadway improvements are the result of stalled negotiations between towns of the upper Verde Valley and Camp Verde two years ago when the county attempted to widen SR 260 to four lanes from Cottonwood to Camp Verde.

No consensus was reached on the number of access points or their locations during the negotiations, forcing ADOT and the county to scale the project down.

In January, Ames Construction of Phoenix will begin widening 2.5 miles of the roadway from Western Drive in Cottonwood to Thousand Trails road.

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