The Arizona Department of Transportation improved the quality of life and spurred economic activity by eliminating a long-term conflict between freight trains and the community.
Waiting. Waiting. And more waiting. That situation was all too familiar for motorists traveling on SR 347 in the City of Maricopa, a fast-growing community just south of the metropolitan Phoenix area. SR 347 is the main north-south corridor to travel in the city and is bisected by a Union Pacific Railroad line. With cargo trains running at least 60 times a day, coupled with Amtrak service that could block traffic for up to an hour each week, long lines of back-up traffic were common. Frustration grew by community leaders for ADOT to find a solution.
Opened to traffic in July 2019 after two years of construction, ADOT built a six-lane divided overpass with raised median and sidewalks to carry traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians over the railroad track. The $24 million construction project was a partnership between FHWA, ADOT, City of Maricopa, and Ak-Chin Indian Community. ADOT secured a $15 million TIGER grant for the project and the City of Maricopa contributed funds as well.
The SR 347 overpass ensures emergency responses times are shortened. Pedestrians and bicyclists can safely travel on this major corridor without delay due to train traffic. Motorists can travel to employment, retail, dining, services and recreation areas without delay in the city….sighs of relief from everyone.
The City of Maricopa has already seen benefits with the new overpass. Several commercial developments have already broken ground directly adjacent to the overpass, creating jobs for the local community. Maricopa’s mayor announced at the opening dedication, “This is the day that is going to transform Maricopa.” Quality of life and community development have greatly improved with the new SR 347 overpass.
Read additional stories from this state: