Construction site atmosphere

"Construction, expected to last until fall 2020, will cost $19.4 million."

Construction is slated to begin this August on Happy Valley Parkway improvements from Lake Pleasant Parkway to Loop 303.

The improvements — approved unanimously at a June 18 council meeting — will increase the roadway from two to three lanes in each direction; incorporate landscaped medians, bike lanes, curbs, gutters, street lights and sidewalks; and improve traffic signals at 115th Avenue and 100th Lane.

Construction, expected to last until fall 2020, will cost $19.4 million. Officials also included a $1 million contingency amount to cover unforeseen conditions during construction.

Additional costs of $409,000 are also listed on the council agenda.

City officials previously authorized an intergovernmental agreement with Maricopa County, which will contribute $5 million toward the project, said Adina Lund, development and engineering director, at the meeting.

The city will annex the county’s portion of the roadway, which extends from Loop 303 to the Agua Fria River.

That portion includes a traffic signal at 115th Avenue, which regularly gets backed up, Lund said. Construction will extend the left turn, Lund said, and the signal will be timed with others in the city.

In addition to being widened to six lanes and including a median barrier with attenuation, the Agua Fria River Bridge will feature a 12-foot multiuse path for pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the council agenda.

The portion from the Agua Fria River to Lake Pleasant Parkway is already owned and maintained by the city of Peoria.

There, the 100th Lane signal, Lund added, will be extended to the south “to also service the Target shopping center (at the southwest corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Parkway), providing left turns out for those that are headed toward the Loop 303.”

Aesthetic enhancements and artwork will be installed after construction and will require a separate contract.

Officials have taken into account the large influx of traffic in the area ahead of construction.

“We do know there is a lot of traffic in the area and there is a large section in the special provisions that talks about not working in front of those commercial businesses between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and not impacting traffic during the rush hour,” Lund said.

And Contractor Ames Construction has experience with Peoria, having worked on Lake Pleasant Parkway from Westwing Parkway to Loop 303, and Happy Valley Parkway from Terramar Boulevard to Lake Pleasant Parkway.

“They’re very familiar with our static requirements and they should do us proud,” Lund said.

City councilmembers unanimously voted in favor of the development.

“To tell you the truth, I never thought I would be so excited about a bridge. But I really am, because this is going to be such a tremendous improvement to the flow of traffic and getting in and out of the Vistancia community and the Mesquite District,” Vice Mayor Bridget Binsbacher said. “And, most importantly, this truly was a lot of work and communication and outreach with the community, and a lot of folks came to public meetings and weighed in on what they needed, and that really contributed to this amazing design that I think is just fantastic.”