While driving past the intersection of Litchfield Rd and Wigwam Blvd the other day, I had to pull over and take a closer look at the construction progress of the new underpass. This new underpass will serve as a connection from Old Litchfield Park over to the areas West of Litchfield Rd, providing a safer crossing for pedestrians, including school children heading to and from Western Sky Middle School and Millennium High School.
It is no secret that Litchfield Rd is heavily traveled. I’ve seen cars buzzing past me in excess of 50 mph while driving my kids to practice or meeting a client to show them Homes for Sale in and around Litchfield Park. Adding a safer route across Litchfield Rd has been discussed for many years. In fact, the City of Litchfield Park filed an application with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for funding an underpass back in 2000. MAG placed the project on a funding schedule for construction to begin in 2005. That didn’t happen as there were many changes to the design concept (I remember seeing a model for an overpass at one point) and construction costs went sky high back in 2005. The City decided to delay the project until it was more economically feasible to complete it. This meant the cost of constructing the project would need to come down and the City would look to secure another resource for funding… securing federal funds.
Construction did start earlier this year, January 7th and construction is being managed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). For roughly 8 weeks, Litchfield Rd was closed completely in both directions just North on Wigwam Blvd. This of course did not make many residents happy and caused additional scrutiny of the project.
The underpass project is scheduled for full completion by August 2013. With ADOT managing the construction process, it is my understanding that the project will be completed on time.
If you have questions regarding the underpass construction, you can call the ADOT Project Hotline at 855-712-8530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you have comments about the underpass related to the City, you can reach the City Project Engineer, Jules Diogenes at 623-547-4661 ext 238 or contact City Manager, Darryl Crossman at 623-935-5033.