Grand-35 Study Interactive Comment Tool

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Grand-35 Study

US 60 (Grand Avenue), 35th Avenue, and Indian School Road Intersection Improvements

Welcome! This entire session should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. We look forward to receiving your input and thank you for your participation in our online engagement.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in coordination with the BNSF Railway, city of Phoenix and Maricopa Association of Governments, are initiating a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and initial Design Concept Report (DCR) for the US 60 (Grand Avenue), 35th Avenue and Indian School Road intersection.

Online meeting welcome image

How to Navigate:

  • Click on the Next Button at the bottom right of each page to advance to the next page
  • Click on the Previous Button at the bottom left side of each page to return to the previous page
  • The pages are intended to be viewed in order to provide information about the study. However, you may use the tabs on the left side of the page to select any page.

How to Participate:

  • Click through all eight (8) slides to learn more about the study
  • Provide comments on the Interactive Comment Map
  • Take our survey to provide comments (when you are finished, please make sure to hit submit!)

Study Overview

Purpose and Goals

The study will evaluate potential transportation improvements at the intersection of Grand Avenue, 35th Avenue Indian School Road and the BNSF railroad crossing to reduce traffic congestion, enhance safety and improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities. A potential improvement option includes completely separating one of the roadways at the intersection to either raise or lower it through an overpass or underpass to reduce delays and eliminate traffic crossing the railroad tracks.

Potential improvement alternatives will be evaluated to identify the benefits and social, economic, and environmental impacts of each, which will be compared against making no improvements (No Build alternative). The study will refine the proposed alternatives to identify a recommended alternative.

Project Map:

Simplified project area map


Click the image above to enlarge.

Study Process and Timeline

The study is currently in the public scoping phase. During this phase, receiving input from as many affected and interested parties as possible is an important part of the study. Input received during the public scoping phase will help refine alternatives, learn important information for the study team to consider in evaluating the alternatives and better understand the public’s priorities and concerns.

The team is preparing engineering and environmental studies to:

  • Evaluate options for improvements
  • Select a Preferred Alternative
  • Meet the goals of the Regional Transportation Plan
  • Satisfy requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Obtain public and agency support

Simplified project timeline

Proposed Project Schedule: Design, Right Of Way, Construction

If a Build Alternative for interchange improvements is selected, the following tentative schedule has been identified:

  • Design and Right of Way Acquisition – Beginning in 2022
  • Construction – Beginning in 2024
Simplified project process diagram


Click the images above to enlarge.

Project Elements for Evaluation

Existing Intersection

Review the map of the existing roadway below, and then look through each of the improvement concepts that follow. Click on each image to enlarge and see details. The concepts are grouped as follows:

  • Grade Separation Concepts
  • Roadway Cross-section Concepts
  • Additional Improvement Concepts

Aerial of the existing intersection

Grade Separation Concepts

These grade separation concepts propose raising or lowering one of the roadways at the 35th Avenue, Grand Avenue, and BNSF Rail crossings. An alignment diagram and a photograph showing an example are shown for each.

35th Avenue:

Concept 3A – Elevate 35th Avenue

Concept 3A alignment diagram
Concept 3A example photograph

Concept 4A – Lower 35th Avenue

Concept 4A alignment diagram
Concept 4A example photograph

Grand Avenue:

Concept 3B – Elevate Grand Avenue

Concept 3B alignment diagram
Concept 3B example photograph

Concept 4B – Lower Grand Avenue

Concept 4B alignment diagram
Concept 4B example photograph

BNSF Railroad:

Concept 1 – Elevate BNSF Railway

Concept 1 alignment diagram
Concept 1 example photograph

Concept 2 – Lower BNSF Railway

Concept 2 alignment diagram
Concept 2 example photograph

Roadway Cross-section Concepts

35th Avenue:

Proposed and existing concepts

Existing and proposed cross-section diagrams

Indian School Road:

Proposed and existing concepts

Existing and proposed cross-section diagrams

Additional Improvement Concepts

Eliminate the BNSF railroad crossing

Improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities

Improve the transit corridor

Improve safety for roadway users

Evaluate future travel demand and anticipated traffic level of service

Identify potential environmental impacts

Identify potential right of way acquisition and changes to property access

Minimize construction impacts to traffic and adjacent properties

Mitigate conflicts with existing utilities

Public Comments Map

THIS PUBLIC COMMENTS MAP IS CLOSED. Explore the intersection using the interactive map below. To make a comment just select a point on the map to drop a pin and enter your feedback. You can also click on other pins to see other comments provided.

Public Comments Survey

Comments will be accepted between October 7 and November 6, 2020, in the following ways:

  • Meetings: Participate in the public meetings
    • Online and call-in meeting options for this project will be available. More information will be posted here as it is available.
  • E-mail: ADOTGrand35Study@hdrinc.com
  • Call: 602.474.3952
  • USPS Mail sent to:
    ADOT Grand-35 Study c/o HDR, Inc., 20 E. Thomas Rd., Suite 2500, Phoenix, AZ 85012

PUBLIC COMMENTS SURVEY CLOSED

Please take our brief survey to provide your feedback on potential intersection improvements. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. After answering the questions please hit "Submit" to ensure that your answers are received.

Public Meetings

We look forward to your involvement in the current and upcoming activities. Join us online or on the phone for virtual public meetings to learn more about the options being evaluated to improve the intersection, ask questions and provide comments to the study team.

Meeting documents

Spanish Public Meeting

Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.


English Public Meeting

Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Q&A

1. Where can I find detailed maps of the existing roadway and improvement concepts?

You can find a detailed map of the existing roadway and improvement concepts on the study website at ADOTGrand35Study.com.

2. What happens if a build alternative for intersection improvements is identified through this study?

If a build alternative for intersection improvements is identified through this study, the next steps would be final design and right-of-way acquisition which are currently planned to begin in 2022 with construction planned to begin in 2024.

3. How do I know if my property will be impacted?

Potential right-of-way impacts and access changes will be identified later in the study process. If a Build alternative is selected, right of way impacts will be identified during final design and affected property owners will be contacted.

4. When will right of way be acquired and what is the right of way acquisition process?

If a Build alternative is identified and receives final environmental approval to move forward, then the project would move into the design phase in 2022 and specific right of way needs would be identified, and the right of way acquisition process would begin. Right of way plans will be developed based on the final design plans and property appraisals will be prepared for the affected properties and property owners will be contacted at that time. Any questions on the right of way process can be directed to Dennis Haley at dhaley@azdot.gov or (602) 712-7432.

5. If a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected, how long will construction take and what will the traffic impacts be?

If a grade-separation is selected to move forward, construction could last approximately 24 months, depending on many different factors, and traffic impacts could range from fairly minor to fairly substantial, also depending on many difference factors. As part of the study, we will be reviewing these issues and working with the stakeholders to develop a proposed plan for construction.

6. How will businesses in the area be affected during construction? Will access to businesses be impacted?

The intent is to maintain access/entry to existing businesses during construction. If this is not achievable then this particular property could be acquired by ADOT ROW and the owner will be compensated accordingly.

7. If a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected, what will the impacts be to pedestrians, bikes and public transit during construction?

In general, ADOT will attempt to maintain pedestrian, bike, and transit access during construction. As part of the study, we will be reviewing these issues and working with the stakeholders to develop a plan for construction. A construction contractor would need to submit any proposed construction-related restrictions and closures to ADOT and the city for review and approval and would need to provide alternative access wherever possible.

8. How could railroad operations be impacted?

The railroad operations will be maintained for the selected alternative as BNSF Railway will generally not allow any adverse impacts to their operations.

9. Since lowering or raising 35th Avenue would align with all the project goals and the other concepts would not, why are the other concepts being studied/considered?

This initial evaluation is part of a larger process to start with many potential ideas and narrow the options down to eventually identify a recommended alternative. We will look at many different concepts. Some will be eliminated from further consideration while others will be refined for further study. We are here tonight to get your input to help with this process.

10. How will pedestrian, bike and transit facilities be improved if a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected?

A build alternative could include many different enhancements to the pedestrian, bicycle, and bus facilities such as additional or wider sidewalks, wider outside shoulders for bikes, separate bus pull-outs or new bus shelters.

11. What is a grade-separation?

A grade separation completely separates one of the roadways at the intersection to either raise or lower it through an overpass or underpass.

12. How would you raise or lower railroad tracks or streets?

Streets and railroads can be raised by placing them on top of dirt with walls along the sides to contain that dirt and constructing bridges to pass over other roads or the railroad. Along the Grand Avenue corridor, there are numerous examples of roads that have been raised. Similarly, they can be lowered by removing dirt and placing walls along the sides to retain that dirt, similar to where Grand Avenue goes under 59th Avenue.

13. How much of an influence does public input have on the selection of an alternative?

Input received during the public scoping phase will help refine alternatives, learn important information for the study team to consider in evaluating the alternatives and better understand the public’s priorities and concerns. Public input will be one factor that will be used in refining the alternatives, along with engineering feasibility, cost and how well the recommended alternative meets the project goals.

14. By 2040, the average delay at this intersection is expected to increase if no improvements are made. Is the average delay expected to decrease if improvements are made? If so, by how much?

At this point in the study, we have not conducted traffic analysis on any proposed improvements – that will come a little later in the study. However, one of the goals is to improve traffic operations within the study area and we will share more information on the traffic analysis at the next public meeting.

15. Who would be responsible for funding if the project is built? How will it be paid for?

Currently, the funding includes federal money and MAG funds obtained through the voter approved half-cent sales tax.

16. When will the next round of public outreach occur?

The next public meeting is planned in Early 2021 where we will present the current alternatives being considered.

17. Will noise walls be constructed?

A noise study will be prepared to determine where noise mitigation is warranted.

18. Will this project be constructed at the same time as the I-17/Indian School Rd project?

If a build alternative is selected, construction of this project is planned to start in 2024. The I-17/Indian School Road interchange project construction schedule is still tentative at this time, as the project final design is currently on hold pending further review. That project was originally planned to start construction in late summer 2021.

19. Why are you doing this project when nobody is driving anywhere due to the coronavirus?

While traffic volumes did drop earlier this year, they are on their way back up. MAG and ADOT have not suspended their planning and design efforts for the region. The study and design process, if a build alternative is selected, will take several years to complete before construction began.

20. Could this project go away if funding is reduced?

Every year, the regional program is updated and projects (including this one) could be delayed or other projects could be advanced, based on funding availability and current priorities.

21. Why isn’t one of the options to make this stretch of US 60/Grand Avenue between I-17 and Loop 101 a highway like US 60 in the east Valley?

This option was evaluated in previous studies and was not chosen. This section of US 60/Grand Avenue is much older than the US 60 Superstition Freeway and has substantial existing development along the corridor that would be costly to acquire and result in significant community impacts. It is simply not feasible and not included in regional plans. The Regional Transportation Plan includes smaller projects to improve traffic capacity, safety and multi-modal connections on the Grand Avenue corridor.

22. What are the current traffic volumes here on Grand Avenue, Indian School Road and 35th Avenue? Which road has the most traffic?

Both Grand Avenue and Indian School Rd currently carry around 50,000 vehicles per day. 35th Avenue carries around 30,000 vehicles per day. By 2040, the traffic volumes on all three roads are expected to increase. Why is ADOT focusing on this intersection when there are more important priorities for freeway improvements?

The RTP is the blueprint for highway and other transportation improvements in Maricopa County, and this project is one of many improvements planned in the region. ADOT and MAG – with input from the public – prioritize transportation improvements throughout the region based on need.

Stay Informed

Thank you for your interest in the Grand-35 Study. We appreciate your participation and input as we prepare the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and initial Design Concept Report (DCR) for the US 60 (Grand Avenue), 35th Avenue and Indian School Road intersection.

E-mail Address:

ADOTGrand35Study@hdrinc.com

Phone Call:

602.474.3952

USPS Mailing Address:

ADOT Grand-35 Study c/o HDR, Inc.
20 E. Thomas Rd.
Suite 2500
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Comment
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