Utility work in preparation for the construction of a roundabout to cause traffic delays on 8th Avenue

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The city of Safford will be performing water infrastructure work in the area of the “Y” intersection of 8th Avenue, Safford/Bryce Road, and Airport Road in January prior to the county beginning construction of a roundabout at the intersection.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

GRAHAM COUNTY – The city of Safford has announced that its utility department will be performing water infrastructure replacement
at the “Y” intersection of 8th Avenue, Safford/Bryce Road and Airport Road in preparation for the construction of a roundabout by Graham County. 

The utility work is expected to be performed between Jan. 7 – 28, 2019, and will include traffic detours for westbound traffic on Safford/Bryce Road and eastbound traffic on Airport Road. Motorists should expect delays and plan accordingly.

Graphic by the city of Safford

While not technically part of the roundabout project, which is administered by the Arizona Department of Transportation, Safford is using the opportunity to upgrade and enlarge the old water line prior to the start of construction much in the same way it replaced water lines along Church Street in Thatcher prior to the start of its $2.9 million ADOT-enabled total rebuild. Coincidentally, the Thatcher Church Street project will also include a roundabout at the intersection of Church Street and Third Avenue.   

Graham County Manager Dustin Welker has described the 8th Avenue roundabout as being a bigger version of the one Thatcher installed in Daley Estates to better accommodate large truck traffic bound for Freeport McMoRan Inc.’s Safford Operations mine. 

According to Welker, the roundabout construction project is in its final stage of planning and the county is hoping to start construction around March.

This article was updated to show the start date of the construction to be Jan. 7, 2019.  

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