Coconino Co., ADOT Working On State Road 89A Realignment at Ft. Tuthill
Project promotes safety; trees to be used on Schultz mitigation and needy families.
September 15, 2013
In an effort to promote safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists at Fort Tuthill County Park, Coconino County and the Arizona Department of Transportation are coordinating plans to realign State Route 89A at the entrance to the County’s premier park.
As part of the project, ADOT will construct two roundabouts and relocate the intersection farther into the park, which attracts about 100,000 visitors per year for the annual County Fair, concerts, camping and other events year round. The project is designed to increase safety for all park visitors and those travelling to/from Flagstaff on SR 89A.
“This project is long overdue and will ensure that visitors can continue to attend events at Fort Tuthill safely,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “The County will continue to work closely with ADOT as this project moves forward.”
Because the project may impact some visitors to the park, the County and ADOT have worked collaboratively on the project. ADOT is slated to begin construction by spring 2014.
However, the scope of the project will require ADOT to remove approximately 2,000 trees within the project area in and around Fort Tuthill. Only trees detrimental to the project will be removed.
ADOT also plans to re-vegetate and hydro seed the abandoned sections of SR 89A and the current southbound exit ramps on I-17, which will be reconstructed farther west than their current location.
Trees Will Not Be Wasted
As part of an agreement between the County and ADOT, more than half of the timber removed from the project area will be utilized to benefit County residents. Approximately 400 logs will be used by the County Public Works Department for Schultz flood mitigation projects north of Flagstaff.
The County is working on plans to use several trees to produce firewood, which would be distributed to eligible low-income residents to keep warm during the winter months. An additional 30 trees will be incorporated into a shade structure at Roger’s Lake County Natural Area.
“The County and its partners have worked diligently to ensure the trees will not be cut in vain,” said County Parks and Recreation Director Judy Weiss. “Removed timber will continue on to serve our county residents within the County.”
The County recently launched a new Web page (www.coconino.az.gov/SR89A) to keep residents and visitors updated with maps and other information about the project.