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Pinal County’s growth has accelerated in the past year, with hundreds of jobs being created by new employers. Houses are sprouting up everywhere. A recent development, however, puts a new emphasis on the changes. Coolidge is processing a commercial project at Eleven Mile Corner!

The quiet intersection long has been a remote outpost, generally 11 miles from Casa Grande, Coolidge and Eloy. It has been populated as a county housing site created decades ago for farmworkers. It has had a couple of stores and a school, and the county fairgrounds and animal control department are nearby. But there hasn’t been much new for a long time.

The proposal moving through the channels in Coolidge involves a service station, convenience store and restaurant. That would add the last of the four corners to Coolidge’s city limits. Coolidge extends way south of the original townsite, and the Nikola Motor Co. electric truck plant is in the area along State Route 87. A few miles away, Eleven Mile Corner is becoming a major entrance to Coolidge.

The addition is exciting for Coolidge but also indicative of the fact that western Pinal cities are growing together. Areas that formerly were just agricultural now are becoming something else. And the corporate limits of Pinal’s cities in most cases extend much farther than many residents are aware of.

Already, driving from one town to the next, motorists encounter traffic signals where traditionally there were only stop signs, if that. Pinal County is changing more rapidly now, which of course has many positive aspects but a few negative ones as well. Fortunately, the planning process is working pretty well.

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