Thu, Nov. 21

Mingus avenue extension keeps rolling<br><i>Constructions should be done by end of year</i>

Work on the Mingus Avenue extension project continues to proceed and should be finished soon.

Yavapai County Project Manager Byron Jaspers said there is one concrete bridge deck left to pour and that should be done by the end of October.

There are bridge barriers, fences and some other finishing touches left for the workers to complete, he said.

"There's a lot of clean up and striping and things like that," he said.

Construction crews broke ground in July 2003. When finished, the road will extend from its intersection with Main Street in Cottonwood to a new intersection at Cornville Road.

The two-mile stretch is designed to cross the Verde River with a 1,000-foot bridge and is costing Yavapai County and the city of Cottonwood $12 million.

The county is giving $11 million with funds from the half-cent sales tax. Cottonwood will contribute $1 million to the project and has paid for the traffic signal at the Main Street and Mingus Avenue intersection.

Work on the road came to a halt in May because the construction area near the Verde River is a possible habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher, a bird on the endangered species list.

Environmental law required the break so work would not disrupt the bird's mating season. Construction crews started up again where they left off in July.

Crews recently made final adjustments to sewer access points on the road near the Main Street intersection.

Jaspers said the contractor's contract with the county goes until spring 2005, but it looks as if work will be done sooner than that.

"Were trying to wrap the project up by the end of the year," he said.

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