CAMP VERDE - "This is probably the biggest showing we have had for a public meeting since the meeting about loop 202 down in Phoenix," said ADOT Public Information Officer Dustin Krugel.
With 200-plus people in attendance, ADOT Prescott District Engineer Alvin Stump gave his presentation on the widening of SR 260 that is expected to begin in March 2016.
The plan that Stump says will take about 18 months to complete will consist of the creation of seven roundabouts between I-17 in Camp Verde and Thousand Trails Road as well as adding two lanes to make it a four-lane highway.
The estimated $62 million construction plan will place roundabouts at Thousand Trails Road, Coury Drive, milepost 214, milepost 215, Cherry Creek Road, Horseshoe Bend Road, and Wilshire Drive.
Stump says the roundabouts will be approximately 35 feet larger in diameter than the Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Sedona roundabouts. This would allow a semi-truck with a 53-foot trailer to stay in its lane while traveling through the roundabout.
"This plan is balanced well and fill the needs of everyone," Stump said. "These are project improvements that will last more than 30 years, it improves safety and travel time and decreases congestion."
Many people in the community have asked "why roundabouts?" This was one of the main questions after Stump finished his presentation. Stump said traffic interchanges cost between $15 and $20 million, while roundabouts only cost about $2 million.
"The roundabouts also provide safe U-turns at intersections, increase capacity, there is less delay, and there are fewer serious crashes with roundabouts," Stump said.
Stump assured that ADOT would be able to maintain traffic throughout the construction process as one citizen asked about the travel time between Camp Verde and Cottonwood for commuters who make that trip to and from work.
After presenting and answering questions for about an hour, the presentation ended with an open house where citizens could view maps of the planned project.