54 Million Roadwork Project Under Way On Ocotillo At Ellsworth In Queen Creek

54 Million Roadwork Project Under Way On Ocotillo At Ellsworth In Queen Creek

$5.4 million roadwork project under way on Ocotillo at Ellsworth in Queen Creek

BY WENDY MILLER (QUEEN CREEK INDEPENDENT)

$5.4 million roadwork project under way on Ocotillo at Ellsworth in Queen Creek

Project to transform Ocotillo from Ellsworth Loop to Heritage Loop

Work has begun to improve another major intersection in the town of Queen Creek.

Drivers can expect to experience road construction starting the week of July 18 along Ocotillo Road between Ellsworth Loop Road on the west and Heritage Loop Road on the east, Queen Creek Public Works Director Troy White said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Work began in September to relocate utilities such as the Salt River Project overhead facilities and Southwest Gas lines along the .5-mile stretch of Ocotillo Road, Mr. White said.

The project is estimated to cost $5,494,540. At their June 15 regular meeting, members of the Queen Creek Town Council voted 6-0 to approve a construction services contract not to exceed that amount with Blucor Contracting for TOQC Project No. A002 and its necessary budget adjustments.

Present at the meeting were Mayor Gail Barney, Vice Mayor Dawn Oliphant and council members Craig Barnes, Robin Benning, Jeff Brown and Julia Wheatley. Councilwoman Emilena Turley was absent.

Blucor submitted the lowest of six bids received by the town. The bids ranged from $5.3 million to $5.9 million, according to the council packet from the June 15 meeting. The bids were opened and read June 2.

The project is expected to be completed in May. There are no incentives for an early finish built into the contract, Mr. White said during his presentation.

The council is expected to vote at its July 20 meeting on a proposal to spend an additional $400,000 for an enhanced decorative traffic signal, street light and pedestrian light fixtures to be furnished by the town for the contractor to install, according to the council packet from the June 15 meeting.

The centerpiece of the project is a new intersection with an enhanced traffic signal at Ocotillo and Ellsworth roads.

The project also includes widening Ocotillo Road from two lanes to four lanes with a center turn lane, bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as constructing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Ocotillo and Heritage Loop Road, according to the project page on the town’s website.

This portion of construction also includes undergrounding the existing 12kV overhead electrical lines, relocating the 69kV poles by SRP, constructing sidewalks and driveways, improving storm drains and landscaping.

The $3,774,934 cost for the roadway construction includes an allowance for additional work of $350,000, according to the council packet.

The cost for the enhanced pedestrian ways and street lights is $37,494, according to the packet.

The full packet may be viewed on the town’s website by clicking on the June 15 council meeting calendar listing.

Councilman Barnes said residents have told him they have not noticed the utilities work that has been taking place on the site since September.

“That was our intention,” Councilman Barnes said during the council meeting. “We directed (the utilities) to do as much as you can before the roads are torn up.”

The project also includes the construction of a pocket park on the northwest corner of Ocotillo and Ellsworth roads at a cost of $434,445.

Elements in the park will focus on the town’s history. They include a clock tower to which a plaque honoring the town’s founders will be attached, a water feature, an open turf area and site lighting, Mr. White said during his presentation.

In addition, parking at the Queen Creek Branch Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, will be extended to the north, adding 36 spaces including designated parking to meet American Disabilities Act requirements, according to the packet. The cost of this portion of the project is estimated at $204,254.

The parking area is intended to help accommodate special events being held in the downtown area and offset the loss of business on-site parking created by the widening of Ocotillo, according to the packet.

The project also includes improvements to the site’s sewer and water lines. About 1,200 linear feet of sewer line along Ocotillo Road east of Ellsworth will be removed and replaced at a cost of $182,446.

In addition, about 2,660 linear feet of the 8-inch water line along Ellsworth Road south of Ocotillo Road will be replaced with a 12-inch line at a cost of $623,822.

Mr. White told the council westbound traffic on Ocotillo Road will be detoured during work on the sewer lines, but added the work should not affect access to the businesses along the westbound lanes. He said businesses along the eastbound lanes will not be affected.

Mayor Barney asked Mr. White how long the sewer line work would take. Mr. White said he would have to check with the contractor but said he did not expect the work to last more than a month or two.

“I want to tell Troy what that intersection looked like when I was growing up.” Mayor Barney said prior to the council’s voting on the contract. “It was a four-way stop with a gravel road, mostly dirt. So we have come a long way.”

The Queen Creek Town Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road.

To view meeting dates, agendas and stream meetings online, visit the town’s website. For more information, call the town offices at 480-358-3000.

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