Tue, Oct. 15

Editorial: 260 ‘economic’ corridor seems to be taking shape for Camp Verde

It was more than a decade ago when former Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis announced the Arizona Department of Transportation had prioritized the State Route 260 section between Cottonwood and Camp Verde for a major four-lane expansion.

And so began the tug of war over what should be the ultimate vision for this stretch of highway. Many folks on the northern end of the Verde Valley viewed the 260 expansion as a transportation corridor and said it should emulate the SR 89A corridor between Cottonwood and Sedona.

The Camp Verde version for 260 was quite different; it was viewed as the future economic corridor for the town.

The debate was such that ADOT initially made improvements only to the Cottonwood end of the highway up the Thousand Trails. The highway department left it up the various Verde Valley communities to reach an accord on the remaining section.

That took some time, and delicate negotiation, but in the end it was decided the remainder of the highway would be completed as four lanes linked together by a series of roundabouts.

This week saw the Camp Verde Town Council give strong endorsement to a development project that very well could be the first domino to fall in making the town’s vision of a SR 260 economic corridor become a reality.

At full development, the High View at Boulder Creek development will provide the Verde Valley with 400 apartments, 150 condos, 65 tract homes, 78 luxury custom homes and a 14-acre commercial area envisioned as the site for a grocery store and courtyard shopping area.

The primary entrance to the Boulder Creek development will be the Aultman Parkway roundabout.

All of which makes the ultimate connection to SR 260 with the new Verde Connect project intriguing. Yavapai County officials this week announced they will share the various alternate routes for the Verde Connect project at public meetings in Cottonwood and Camp Verde June 11-12. Should the Verde Connect route connect with 260 at the Aultman Parkway roundabout, that portion of AZ 260 certainly will be ripe for commercial development.

For Camp Verde, it means the dominos will begin to fall.

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