The Arizona Transportation Board awarded the first contract in a six-project program to widen 21 miles of State Route 260 to a four-lane divided highway between Star Valley and Colcord east of Payson.
The board, which met in Douglas, awarded a $20.4 million contract to D.H. Blattner & Sons, Inc., of Avon, Minn., to widen the first 3.1 miles in the program in the Preacher Canyon area about seven miles east of Payson.
Myron Robison, a resident engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation in Payson, said construction will start after Labor Day and be completed in the fall of 2002.
Robison said the contractor will build two lanes in one direction; place two-way traffic on that roadway, then build two lanes in the opposite direction. All new roadway will be built for both directions, he said.
About two miles of the westbound roadway will cover the corridor occupied by the existing highway, Robison said. The remaining one mile will be removed and seeded to return the area to its natural state, he said.
The schedule for the remaining projects is as follows:
Fiscal 2002 Christopher Creek Section, two miles, $31.2 million;
Fiscal 2003 Kohl's Ranch Section, two miles, $23.1 million;
Fiscal 2004 Little Green Valley Section, 6.9 miles, $14.6 million;
Fiscal 2005 Doubtful Canyon Section, 3.5 miles, $18.3 million.
The 3.5-mile Lion Springs project just east of Star Valley has not yet been added to ADOT's Five-Year Highway Construction Program, but is expected to be included within the next year or two.
Robison said the Preacher Canyon project will include building six structures two each at three locations for the divided highway. Four structures will be for elk crossings and two will span Preacher Canyon.
The project also will include drawing water from Tonto Creek at peak periods, storing it and using it on the project for subgrade compaction and dust control, Robison said. The contractor will receive financial incentives for capturing water efficiently in peak periods.
The State Transportation Board also awarded three other contracts for projects in Gila County. They are:
$3.7 million to Fann Contracting, Inc. of Prescott to resurface two sections of southbound State Route 87 south of Payson and to build shoulders and guardrail for both sections to increase safety. There are no shoulders at present.
One section is between Payson and Rye and the other section is in the Oxbow Hill area. Fann Contracting will cover these older southbound sections of the Beeline Highway with a layer of asphalt to eliminate cracks and add strength. The company will then apply a thin layer of rubberized asphalt to increase durability and smoothness. The northbound lanes will be resurfaced next year.
Work will start in about 30 days and be finished next spring.
$1.5 million to Show Low Construction, Inc., of Show Low to build a mile-long southbound passing lane on a hilly section of State Route 77 midway between Globe and Hayden.
The project will include extending steel and concrete drainage culverts; building the roadbed and paving.
The project will begin in about 30 days and be completed next spring.
$109.537 to Domino Road Coatings, Inc., of Phoenix to resurface eight miles of State Route 288. The resurfacing will be done from the Salt River bridge to the end of the pavement.
Work will start in about 30 days and be completed by Nov. 15.