PEORIA, Ariz. (Nov.
15, 2010) – Commuters in the Northwest Valley should get some relief from
traffic bottlenecks tomorrow morning when most of the long-awaited Beardsley
Connection to Loop 101 opens. The $25.4 million project was designed to reduce
congestion on Union Hills Drive and 75th Avenue.
By “most,” traffic
engineers mean everything but the U-turn bridge and dedicated entrance ramp
adjacent to the newly widened span carrying Union Hills Drive over the 101.
Issues related to a power line delayed construction of that portion until cooler
weather arrived, but officials expect to finish it in the spring
Meanwhile, the entire
frontage road from 75th Avenue to Union Hills Drive is good to go, along with
the roundabout at 81st Avenue and Beardsley Road and the bridge carrying
Beardsley traffic over New River to connect with the frontage road.
In practical terms,
motorists westbound on Loop 101 will be able to exit just beyond 75th to the
frontage road that will lead them to Beardsley. Traffic from Beardsley will be
able to head southbound on the same frontage road to the traffic signal at Union
Hills, where southbound motorists can go straight and use the existing ramp
while northbound motorists can turn left on Union Hills, cross that bridge and
make a left onto the northbound entrance ramp.
Thanks to $6.8 million
in federal stimulus funds, Peoria had to spend only $1.1 million of its own
money, less than 5 percent of the total construction cost. The remaining $17.5
million came from federal surface-transportation funds.
In addition to the
bridges, ramps and frontage roads, the project included:
A widening of the
existing Union Hills bridge over Loop 101.
A landscaped median
on 83rd Avenue between Beardsley and Village Parkway.
A realignment of the
New River recreational trail along with the addition of ramadas and an
underpass at Beardsley.