Ogden Ranch Road is a one-mile stretch of dirt road that is occasional graded on the outskirts of Cottonwood, but it could be a key player in moving traffic around the Verde Valley in the future
At least County Supervisor Randy Garrison thinks so. So, he wants to pave the road.
The road connects the end of Camino Real with SR260, and could provide a bypass for traffic congestion on SR260 section between Walmart and Western Avenue.
“The county right now is willing to put in Ogden Ranch Road,” explained Garrison. The county wants to build the surface identical to Sycamore Canyon Road in Clarkdale, which a chip-seal pavement coating.
However, Garrison said, even though the county will pay for it, the city and county so far can’t agree on to the road standard for the pavement.
Apparently, the city wants a higher standard of pavement than the county wants to build, even though they have had great success with the chip-seal topping on Sycamore Canyon Road, Garrison said.
The road is in the city limits, according to Morgan Scott, City of Cottonwood development service manager. “We are talking with the county about a possible joint, future-year project to chip seal the road.”
Garrison said the first step will be to get the Forest Service to grant easements since the road goes through Forest Service land.
One problem that has been increasing is camping along the road. Garrison said adding that more traffic exposure would help alleviate that issue.
After easements are acquired, the county and the city will have to agree on the quality standard for the road: either chip seal or black top, an option which is more costly. Then, Garrison said the county would build it and turn it over to the city for maintenance.
The 2016 Agency of Transportation suggested that Ogden Ranch Road would be a possible bypass for congestion on SR260 between Fir Street and Western Avenue, Garrison said.
The supervisor is in the middle of taking public comments about a bypass between Beaver Flats Road in Cornville to SR260 in Camp Verde to try to alleviate traffic woes in the county.
The dirt surface on Ogden Ranch Road is currently rough, but Scott said the city would be grading it in a few months and the city grades it about once a year.
“I think this would be up to the City Council if they wanted to place public funds into developing the road or wait for a future development to improve the road,” Scott said.
However, he added, “There would not likely be a major impact to SR260 if Ogden Ranch Road was paved. SR260 carries over 20,000 vehicles per day. If Ogden Ranch was paved, it would very likely carry less than 1,000 vehicles per day.”
“However, in the future when more land is developed south of city limits, this would like be a good outlet. Another future outlet to consider is connecting Godard Road to old 279,” Scott added.
Garrison said he thought anything they could do to alleviate the traffic problems in the Verde Valley at the beginning of the traffic flow in Cottonwood was a “good thing.”