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Updated Feb 17, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Huge street project will open up south Valley

(Jim Cross/KTAR Photo)

PHOENIX -- The ground broke Monday on a new project that will open up and connect travel in the south Valley.

The Broadway Road/Avenida Rio Salado street improvement project will include new sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping and street lighting from Seventh Street to 51st Avenue.

The project includes intersection improvements and roadway widening, as well. The crown jewel of the project is Broadway, which will be extended from 43rd to 51st Avenue. Right now, that area is nothing but a mile-long stretch of dirt and rock.

"It will be a full three lanes in each direction with a median, along the lines of what you see on Baseline," said Mark Glock, deputy street transportation director.

City councilwoman Kate Gallego said the eventual goal is to tie in the new Broadway with the future South Mountain Freeway Loop 202. She said this project will really open up travel in the South Valley.

"This will drive economic development," Gallego said. "Businesses will be able to get where they're going more quickly [and] that means dollars."

The new and improved Broadway will also take some of the load off other roads like Baseline, Southern, Buckeye and Lower Buckeye, which are congested during peak traffic hours.

The $55 million in federal dollars Phoenix received will help pay for the 30-month project. The remaining $25 million will be funded with revenue from the state gas tax.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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