Roads open in Apache Junction

Richard Ochs, Superstition Fire & Medical assistant chief, talks about roads reopening for better emergency access to residents just outside the Apache Junction city limits in a Pinal County YouTube video.

APACHE JUNCTION — With the snip of a ribbon, Pinal County officials Thursday celebrated the reopening of portions of Mountain View Road and Jacob Waltz Street, which will provide faster emergency response times and a more direct way out from hundreds of homes just beyond the city limits.

“It’s a great day for people who live in unincorporated Pinal County out here,” County Supervisor Todd House, R-Apache Junction, says in a video on the Pinal County Government YouTube channel. Reopening the roads corrects an issue that has affected residents for seven or eight years, he said.

Richard Ochs, Superstition Fire & Medical assistant chief, says in the same video that “when the roads were closed and we had to respond the long way around on Highway 88, you’re averaging a response time of about 13 minutes just to get into the neighborhood. That’s significant.”

House added that State Route 88 was closed because of a fire just the previous week, “so it’s good to have this as an alternate route to get in and out of the area.”

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted in June to improve portions of both roads to make them passable, reopen them and declare them to be county highways. It’s an unusual project because it makes them county roads across state land in the city limits of Apache Junction.

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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