Bush/Beeline Overpass Long Overdue


Dave Goddard's skid marks still mar the northbound lane of the Beeline Highway where it intersects with the Bush Highway/Saguaro Lake turnoff.

For more than a year and a half, it has been a reminder of the dangers of that intersection -- a black mark against the inaction of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

In February 2005, a week after the tragic accident at that intersection that took the life of Goddard's wife and young child, we wrote an editorial begging ADOT to do something about that intersection.

Most of us pass that intersection with trepidation and one foot ready to step on the brake.

Even Department of Public Safety officers say they are careful to slow and brake when driving through the intersection, even if they are responding to an emergency.

The danger is doubled by the fact that some of the drivers are returning from a day at Saguaro Lake and are under the influence of alcohol.

It may be an hour from Payson, but Payson residents travel it daily on their way back from the Valley.

Payson residents have been injured or lost their lives there, which makes it Payson's business.

Last week, ADOT announced that $18.2 million in funding is finally in place to do something about that dangerous intersection.

Beginning late this summer, they will construct a new interchange connection of the Beeline and Bush highways.

ADOT crews will build a new bridge to carry Bush Highway traffic over Highway 87, as well as off-ramps connecting the two highways.

This construction is long overdue. Enough lives have been lost.

ADOT expects the work to take 16 months to complete.

During those 16 months, which will undoubtedly result in delays, you may get frustrated. In traffic, 16 months can seem like a long time.

But we ask that, before you shake your fist at ADOT while you navigate through the cones and past the flag-wavers, take a moment instead to be grateful for the lives that are being saved by that work.

Roll down your window and say "thank you."

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