Mon, Jan. 20

Motorists edge onto roundabout near casino

Motorists seemed a little hesitant Thursday morning when first entering the new roundabout on Middle Verde Road in front of Cliff Castle Casino.

The roundabout is part of an ongoing Yavapai-Apache Nation road construction improvement project under the lead of the Nation's Economic Development Authority Administrator Rene Toman. Toman was unavailable for comment as she was out of town, but EDA Director Ted Smith did confirm that original plans for a second roundabout at the Montezuma Castle turn-off, also on Nation property, have been dropped.

Construction should now move toward the Interstate 17 area next, where an Arizona Department of Transportation roundabout is scheduled to go in.

"The plans are drawn and are under review. Once approved, we will issue a permit," said Bob LaJeunesse, district maintenance engineer for ADOT in Prescott. "They'll construct a roundabout at the northbound exit only (nothing on southbound exit). ADOT is paying for it, and it should take another three or four months to build. It's one of the first ones in the Prescott District to go in, and if it gets built in the next six months, it will be the first."

He said that ADOT also has plans for a roundabout at Willow Lake Road/Arizona 89 in Prescott.

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