Transportation planners vote to move on 260

Chip Davis: "We are not only going to seek funding from the feds, we also want to take the conventional approach and get back on ADOT's five-year plan."

Chip Davis: "We are not only going to seek funding from the feds, we also want to take the conventional approach and get back on ADOT's five-year plan."

CAMP VERDE - Could it be? Is there is an agreement on State Route 260?

Three years ago, negotiations to widen the roadway between Camp Verde and the communities of the upper valley fell apart over the design, specifically over access along Camp Verde's eight-mile stretch of the road.

But on Wednesday, at a meeting of the Verde Valley Transportation Planning Organization (VVTPO), a group of community leaders agreed it was time to take a different tack in finding common ground.

Motivated by federal stimulus money, a timely visit by the State Transportation Board and deciding enough was enough, the VVTPO voted unanimously to work together as a united front.

"Actually we are taking a two-pronged approach," County Supervisor Chip Davis said. "We are not only going to seek funding from the feds, we also want to take the conventional approach and get back on ADOT's five-year plan."

On a motion by Camp Verde councilman Ron Smith, seconded by Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens, the VVTPO agreed to refer a tentative agreement, in the form of a letter from Davis, to the valley's city and town councils.

The tentative agreement in the letter states that intersections on the eight-mile stretch of SR260 passing through Camp Verde will be no less than a mile apart.

Should the intersection become less than a mile apart, it would trigger the pursuit of an alternative roadway running from Thousand Trails Road to the General Crook and Interstate 17 intersection.

"I honestly don't think it matters if we have six or eight intersections," Smith said. "The property owners along 260 and ADOT will come to agreements on access. And we have already endorsed the idea of backage roads."

Davis' letter asks that the valley councils, by resolution, establish the SR260 corridor-widening project as the most significant road improvement project in the region. The letter goes to Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Sedona and the Yavapai-Apache Nation

Davis plans to present the resolutions at the June 19 State Transportation Board meeting in Cottonwood.

The stimulus money from the federal government is being offered under a program labeled TIGER, or Transportation Investment, Generating Economic Recovery.

The program offers money to road projects that help stimulate economic activity in economically distressed areas.

The design of the roadway is 90 percent complete, which will be an advantage for the Verde Valley.

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