Significant safety projects on Arizona 89A in Jerome and Cottonwood begin this week, resulting in three months of nighttime traffic restrictions west of Jerome beginning in early February and several weeks of daytime side street traffic restrictions in Cottonwood beginning in late January.
In the Jerome area, heavy equipment will begin moving earth this week for a new scenic overlook just west of Jerome and for wider drainage ditches two miles west of the town, according to Albert Ohlwiler, a project supervisor for the Arizona Department of Transportation in Prescott Valley.
Ohlwiler said nighttime blasting will begin in early February to widen 3,600 linear feet of a drainage ditch to 15 feet and to lay back slopes along the drainage ditch to prevent rock falls. The blasting will be done off and on for three months, closing Arizona 89A fully during the night, he said.
He added that Arizona 89A also will be reduced to one lane during daytime hours as workers extend drainage pipes, install fences and remove loose rocks. Traffic will move in one direction at a time, resulting in 15 minute delays, Ohlwiler said.
The scenic overlook will have 14 regular parking space and two handicap parking spaces. Part of Arizona 89A will be realigned near the overlook and retaining walls will be constructed.
Ohlwiler said the project also includes resurfacing Arizona 89A between the west end of Mingus Mountain and Jerome. The resurfacing will be done at night beginning in the early summer, he said.
FNF Construction, Inc., of Tempe is the general contractor for the $3.4 million project that will be finished in August.
In Cottonwood, traffic signals will be installed on Arizona 89A at Mingus Avenue and 12th Street to move traffic more smoothly and to make turning movements safer. Additionally, Mingus Avenue and 12th Street will be widened, curb and gutter will be constructed and storm drainage will be improved.
Ohlwiler said Mingus Avenue and 12th Street will be closed periodically for several hours a day beginning in late January to remove pavement, regrade the earth and relocate utilities. The closures will be done on one street at a time and will be done over a several-week period, he said.
When Mingus Avenue and 12th Street are not fully closed, traffic will be reduced to one lane and flaggers will guide motorists through the work zone in one direction at a time, resulting in 10 minute delays, he added.
Ohlwiler said two-way traffic will be maintained on Mingus Avenue and 12th Street after the basic work is done and activity shifts to installing the traffic signals, constructing curb and gutter and paving the wider streets.
Fann Contracting Co. of Prescott is the general contractor for the $576,593 project that will be completed in late May.