ADOT develops all roadway improvements following the Highway Development Process. The following timeline represents the required steps in the development of a roadway or roadway improvement. In addition to establishing a funding source, there is a series of required planning and environmental studies before a roadway is constructed.
Highway planning to determine potential corridors and improvements is conducted well in advance of design and construction. Area population growth, future land use, jurisdictional responsibilities and other factors are used to determine the need, feasibility and general location of future highway improvements. For this project corridor, this effort was completed during the Feasibility Study phase of this project, initiated in 2003 and completed in April, 2005.
The study stage establishes the location (alignment) and basic characteristics (number of lanes, type of traffic interchange, etc.) of a roadway. Accompanying this are environmental studies (noise, economic impacts, etc.), identification and evaluation of alternatives, general cost estimates, coordination with public and private partners and the determination of feasibility to move to the design phase. This is the current phase of this SR 95 improvement project.
The SR 95 Study Process (shown below), in addition to developing the location of the roadway, will also develop an access management plan and an implementation plan.
The access management plan determines where the public will be able to gain access to and from the newly aligned highway. The plan will also include specific information regarding how existing driveways and access roads will be realigned or relocated to tie to future interchanges. Finally, the plan will address restrictions on the service roads accessing the future interchanges, to restrict access in the vicinity of the interchange to allow it to operate efficiently and safely.
The Implementation Plan will specify how the project will be constructed in segments and phases. ADOT cannot afford, nor justify the construction of the ultimate highway improvements during one large construction project. It will likely be constructed in a series of six to ten construction projects, depending on funding availability and regional growth.
The design of a roadway involves several stages of detailed engineering, technical review, and approval by partnering and overseeing agencies at each stage. Project information is shared and discussed with the public at project milestones, and public input is considered in the evaluation of alternatives. The final design of the roadway is represented in plans and specifications that construction contractors use to prepare construction bids.
Road construction is based on detailed plans and specifications provided to the contractor following the approved design. As the construction process advances, changes may occur that are influenced by a variety of factors. ADOT continually looks for ways to improve the construction process for maximum efficiency and minimal community impact. Once built, a roadway will be maintained and improved over time as a result of future growth and transportation needs.
After a facility is constructed, ADOT continually reviews the existing roadway, and makes provisions for enhancements to it to maintain its efficiency and safety. Future studies identify these enhancements and may influence additional planning, design and construction. Hence, the process begins again from the top.
The study is underway, with the scoping meetings completed. Results of the meetings are available on the project home page. At this time, the Study Team is developing a range of alternatives to be considered, as well as the project constraints and evaluation criteria that will be used compare and prioritize these possible alignment solutions. These constraints and criteria were developed from the input received from the public and government agencies during the scoping process.
The Study Team is compiling all reasonable and feasible alternatives into an Alternatives Selection Report. This report describes all of the corridors considered; describes how the preferred corridor was selected; describes possible alternatives within the preferred corridor; for each possible alignment solution, the report documents how it was developed; how it measured up against the evaluation criteria; and whether or not the proposed solution will be carried forward for additional consideration and evaluation. The basis for this report, including the development and recommendations, was shared with the public at our last series of public meetings. Once all of the comments from the meeting have been received, the report will be completed and the study will continue following the recommendations made within that document.
Following the Alternatives Selection Report, the Study Team will focus on developing and evaluating the alignments recommended for further evaluation and detailed study. The results of this investigation will be shared with our stakeholder agencies and the public once more before making recommendations at the public hearing.
The SR 95 improvements necessary to re-align the highway are currently not funded. The process for identifying and establishing funds will begin after the study process is complete. At that time, ADOT will program the various aspects of the project. The project components would be constructed according to the implementation plan developed during the study phase.