US 95 San Luis street improvements to begin next week

Project to alleviate traffic congestion, enhance pedestrian safety and improve access to downtown businesses

PHOENIX — The city of San Luis, which is home to the second-busiest Mexico border crossing in Arizona, has experienced growing traffic congestion as a result of the more than six million pedestrians and vehicles that pass annually through the downtown area, which is located across the border from San Luis, Sonora, Mexico, one of that country’s fastest-growing cities.

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in partnership with the city of San Luis and Yuma County, will begin work on Monday, October 6, on several improvements in the downtown San Luis area to improve the circulation of traffic, enhance pedestrian safety and improve access to downtown businesses.

In order to do that, ADOT will redirect vehicles that now use US 95 (Main Street) through the downtown business shopping district and divert northbound traffic from the San Luis Port of Entry to First Street and southbound port of entry traffic to Archibald Street.

Beginning next week, motorists can expect lane restrictions on Archibald Street and First Street as ADOT starts work to convert the local roadways to one-way streets. The first phase of the project will also include work at the port of entry, and on Urtuzuastegui, B, C, and D streets. The project will require the closure of Friendship Park beginning on Oct. 13 until early next year.

ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

Later phases of the project include construction of two roundabouts, including one at the intersection of US 95 (Main Street) and D Street and a second, smaller one at Urtuzuastegui Street. Additional improvements include a third travel lane through the port of entry, including two new traffic signals to enhance pedestrian safety.

ADOT is also working with the Yuma County Flood Control District to install a new storm drainage system within the downtown area, at the same time as the road and street enhancements are ongoing. This will reduce costs and limit the duration of impact to the traveling public as much as possible.

“This project is vital to the community of San Luis and the millions of travelers who regularly pass through this extremely busy port of entry at the U.S. – Mexico border,” said ADOT Yuma District Engineer Paul Patane. “We’re improving traffic and pedestrian operations while enhancing the downtown business district.”

As part of a Transportation Enhancement grant the city of San Luis received in 2009, the downtown shopping district will also receive additional parking, benches, new pavement, striping and landscaping. By eliminating the connection from San Luis Port of Entry to Main Street, access to businesses located along Main Street will be improved to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

“City of San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez and the residents of San Luis are very pleased with seeing the project come to a start,” said City of San Luis Director of Operations Tadeo Azael De La Hoya. “This project will not only improve traffic southbound but will aid businesses and business development in downtown. This will create a more vibrant downtown and will attract additional business. San Luis residents are welcoming this project and see it as an opportunity for growth.”

With the $11 million project expected to take up to 10 months to complete, ADOT is prepared to deal with the unique traffic challenges that are common to the San Luis and Yuma areas due to the spike in traffic during the fall/winter agricultural season.

“There’s no doubt that there will be a traffic impact associated with all the road construction, but ADOT is working closely with local law enforcement and the city to reduce that impact as much as possible to ensure traffic will move smoothly,” said Patane. “It’s important for drivers to slow down and pay attention to warning signs and flaggers that are in place to guide motorists through the work zone.”