With three sections of Highway 260 widened to four lanes and another two under construction, motorists could soon find part of the drive from Payson to Heber a whole lot more comfortable.
On Jan. 24, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) began construction just west of the Christopher Creek campground, between mileposts 269 and 272, on the fifth leg of the project designed to widen the highway from Star Valley to the Mogollon Rim.
Only one section of the project, Lion Springs Draw, remains unfunded.
The most recent widening project in Doubtful Canyon includes construction of a four-lane divided highway between Kohl’s Ranch and Christopher Creek. Construction crews will add six concrete bridges, improve drainage, add fencing to keep wildlife off the roadway, lay down rubberized asphalt and add new signage and guardrails.
Work is scheduled for completion by fall of 2012, said Bill Pederson, public information officer with ADOT.
“Initial work will involve the removal of timber to accommodate the highway improvements,” Pederson said in a press release. “No lane closures or restrictions are anticipated at this time. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph and ADOT advises drivers to anticipate brief delays as the project gets under way.”
The Preacher Canyon section was completed in 2001 with the Christopher Creek section in 2004. It is unknown when construction will start on the Lion Springs section.
If you have driven to the Valley in the last six months then you have driven through ADOT’s other highway improvement project affecting Rim Country residents. Between mileposts 204 and 213, crews are making roadway improvements and adding erosion control measures.
The project includes repairing slopes and ditches, reinforcing embankments and implementing modifications to meet state and federal standards.
The project is expected to wrap up by July 2011.