QUEEN CREEK — Officials from Pinal County and the town of Queen Creek joined forces to move the first dirt Thursday for construction of a new section of Meridian Road to connect with the new Gateway Freeway extension.
With the Arizona Department of Transportation currently constructing the State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway) extension through to Ironwood Road, scheduled to open by September 2022, the county and town are working together to build Meridian Road from Combs Road in the south to the highway extension.
With the area’s vast expansion in recent years, road improvements are much needed to ease traffic congestion for Queen Creek and San Tan Valley residents, officials say.
The cost of the project was estimated last year to come in just under $18.7 million, with the county and town splitting the tab.
It is hoped the project will be completed ahead of ADOT’s opening of the SR 24 extension. With this portion of work getting underway, it is expected the section between Queen Creek Road to Germann Road will also begin construction shortly.
Pinal County District 2 Supervisor Mike Goodman and Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney led Thursday morning’s proceedings. Goodman highlighted the collaboration between a number of government agencies that have worked together to make the overall project a reality, namely ADOT, Apache Junction and Mesa, as well as Pinal County and Queen Creek.
“These roads are much-needed relief for our communities of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley, and I, like I’m sure all of our residents, can’t wait to see this project come to fruition,” Goodman, R-San Tan Valley, said.
In addition to cost-sharing this project with Pinal County, Queen Creek is partnering with the city of Mesa to extend Signal Butte Road north from Germann to SR 24, said Barney. In 2018, the town extended Crismon Road north to Germann, and last year, extended Signal Butte Road to Germann.
“The town has made strategic investments to prepare for these extensions,” Barney said. “We are committed to working toward better roads ahead.”
While it is hoped the construction of this project should have limited impact on road closures, it will be necessary to close Germann Road from Signal Butte Road to Ironwood Drive from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16.
Portions of the road will be accessible for local traffic. The recommended detour is via Queen Creek Road/Pima Road to the south.