Photo by Sue Tone.
The second community open house on the design of the Sunset Lane Improvement Project brought about the same number of individuals as the first held Aug. 29. The design hasn’t changed much since then, said Roger McCormick, assistant public works director for Yavapai County.
The start date for the project still is a couple years out, but the design phase shows a lot of promise: wider roadway, sidewalks on both sides of Sunset, new water, sewer and drainage infrastructure.
“Right now, we are at the 90 percent plan level and the next steps would be to proceed on to the 100 percent final construction plans and specifications,” McCormick said.
Utility companies for gas, cable, telephone and electricity then have about a year to plan and design where their lines will go before construction begins.
No other community meetings are scheduled, but county and town officials will continue to meet with individual residents as the project progresses, McCormick said.
The design of Sunset Lane, from Prescott East Highway to the west to Pine View Drive at the east end, involves widening the roadway to 48 feet, which includes a center turn lane, 5-foot sidewalks on both sides of the road, curbs and gutters. Bike lanes were studied but are not part of the plan.
“They were considered as part of this project; however, there isn’t enough room within the existing right-of-way (50 feet) to accommodate bike lanes. This would have required the purchasing of additional rights-of-way from adjacent properties, some of which are already at the minimum setback from the right-of-way line,” McCormick said.
Every intersection will be illuminated with streetlights, but no intersection will have a traffic light or stop sign. The traffic study did not warrant either of those, said Brian Bucholtz, project engineer with Lyon Engineering. Traffic speed will remain at 25 mph.
Engineers and officials went door to door two weeks ago speaking with residents about the rights-of-way in front of properties and where the survey indicated property lines.
“It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be,” said Ron Pine, PV Engineering Division manager.
The roadway, at 48-feet wide, will leave one foot between some property lines and the sidewalk for a total 50-ft. right-of-way. While every effort will be made to preserve existing vegetation and landscaping, some may need to be removed.
When that happens, property owners will go out and purchase what they need, and the town or county will reimburse them, said Kevin Horton, Lyon Engineering.
Dry sewer lines will be installed in the county portion along Sunset Lane for future use. Residents west of Starlight Drive are in the county where individual properties use septic systems.
It made sense to place the wastewater lines during the project to avoid having workers dig up the roadside again later on. Future users will be responsible to extend the lines to their homes.
“We haven’t figured out yet who will pay for the dry sewers,” said Prescott Valley Public Works Director Norm Davis.
The Sunset Lane Improvement Project is a 50/50 partnership involving Yavapai County and the Town of Prescott Valley. The county will pay for the road widening, with flood control funds covering the cost of storm drains. The town is using development impact fees to pay for curbing and sidewalks.
“Impact fees can be spent on a route of regional significance, a road that’s going to move traffic,” Davis said. “This has always been a transportation corridor. It improves mobility for walkers, bicyclists and the ADA community.”