Residents on Pine Creek Canyon Road will be dealing with road construction starting in June if all goes according to county plans.
The county will begin making improvements to Pine Creek Canyon Road in June if it can get the project plans completed by April and out to bid. The proposed project has been in the works for quite some time and the plans are currently 60 percent complete.
“We wanted to get public input before the plans were finished,” Chuck Williams told a crowd of about four dozen Pine residents Saturday.
Williams, of C.L. Williams Consulting, Inc., which is handling the development and planning of the project for Gila County, made a presentation at an open house hosted by the county for Pine residents Saturday, Feb. 26 at the cultural hall at the Pine Community Center.
Williams and his staff, along with representatives from the county, had maps on display and met with concerned residents one-on-one before and after the formal presentation.
During the formal presentation, Williams showed residents the likely detour route — Cedar Meadows to Holly to Manzanita to Whispering Pines down to Highway 87. He said they hope to keep the need for a detour to a minimum if at all possible.
“We think we can do it without closing the road overnight,” Williams said.
Improvements to the road involve several challenges: only about 30 percent of the 5,000 feet of the road slated for work has a 50-foot easement, ideally, roads should have 60 feet of easement and enough room for two, 12-foot traffic lanes, this road can only accommodate two, 11-foot traffic lanes, Williams said. The utilities are either in the roadway itself or the right of way and will have to be moved, moving the utilities is primarily what will require closing the road. Some trees must be removed — about 80 — but Williams said they will do everything they can to remove as few trees as possible.
Several residents expressed concern about changes in the road causing more flooding problems. Williams said, “If we can help with flooding issues, we will do so.” He also offered to meet with individual residents to discuss those concerns and ideas for limiting the flooding problems.
One resident asked if there were plans to extend the road improvements further back on Pine Creek Canyon Road.
“We would like to extend it to the church camp, but we run out of right of way shortly beyond the end of the 5,000 feet in the plans,” Williams said.
He added the county is working on getting right of way easements and it may be possible to start plans to extend the work in fall 2012.
Work on the 5,000 feet of Pine Creek Canyon Road should begin in June 2011 and continue through October 2011, there is a possibility the work will have to be done in two phases, with the second phase starting in the spring of 2012, Williams said.
“The width, drainage and sight lines are our main concerns about the roadway,” said District One Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin.
“We want it to be as low impact as possible (on the residents),” Martin concluded.
Residents unable to attend the meeting or needing more information, can contact Gila County Deputy Director of Public Works Steve Sanders at (928) 402-8530 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.