Grand-35 Study Interactive Comment Tool

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Grand-35 Study

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), in coordination with the City of Phoenix and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), has initiated a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Design Concept Report (DCR) for the US 60 (Grand Avenue), 35th Avenue and Indian School Road Intersection (known as the Grand-35 Study).

The study is currently evaluating potential alternatives for intersection improvements and is seeking public input on those alternatives.

Learn more by reviewing our self-guided, online presentation and materials - or by attending our Jan. 31, 2023 in-person public meeting. You can provide comments through Feb. 21. We look forward to receiving your input.

Online meeting welcome image

How to Navigate:

  • Click on the Next Button at the bottom right of each page to advance to the next page
  • Click on the Previous Button at the bottom left side of each page to return to the previous page
  • The pages are intended to be viewed in order to provide information about the study. However, you may use the tabs on the left side of the page to select any page.

How to Participate:

  • Click through the presentation to learn more about the study and the alternatives being considered.
  • Take our survey to provide comments (when you are finished, please make sure to hit submit!)
  • You may also provide comments on the Interactive Comment Map.
  • Comments may also be submitted through the following methods:
    Call: 602.474.3952
    Email: ADOTGrand35Study@hdrinc.com
  • Mail: ADOT Grand-35 Study c/o HDR, Inc, 20 E. Thomas Rd., Suite 2500, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Study Overview

Purpose and Goals

The study will evaluate potential transportation improvements at the intersection of Grand Avenue, 35th Avenue, Indian School Road and the BNSF railroad crossing to reduce traffic congestion, enhance safety and improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

The study will evaluate raising or lowering one or more of the roadways through an underpass or overpass and evaluate improvement alternatives. The study will consider social, economic and environmental impacts of the alternatives, and refine the proposed alternatives to identify a recommended build alternative which will then be compared against a No Build (do-nothing) alternative as part of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) document. The selected alternative will be identified in the Final Environmental Assessment document.

Project Map:

Simplified project area map


Click the image above to enlarge.

Study Process and Timeline

The study is currently in the alternatives evaluation phase. During this phase, various alternatives to raise or lower 35th Avenue are being evaluated based on various engineering, environmental, cost and other considerations, including public and agency input.

During the initial scoping phase of the study, three initial options were considered:

  • Raising or lowering Grand Avenue
  • Raising or lowering 35th Avenue
  • Raising or lowering the BNSF railroad

After conducting a technical evaluation of each of these alternatives and seeking the public’s input, the team determined that raising or lowering 35th Avenue would best accomplish the study objectives. This option would eliminate any roadway crossings of Grand Avenue and the BNSF railroad.

The study team then identified and evaluated 18 possible options for raising or lowering 35th Avenue. These alternatives were thoroughly evaluated and narrowed to two alternatives, which are listed below.

Please note that all of the alternatives will result in changes to access for some properties closest to the intersection as a result of new bridges or underpasses. New connecting roadways would be needed to restore access to these properties. In addition, both alternatives will require right-of-way acquisition from some property owners closest to the intersection.

Next Steps

The study team will evaluate the alternatives using technical analysis to identify a preferred alternative, while taking public input into consideration. The preferred alternative will then be further evaluated and compared against a No Build (do nothing) alternative as part of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) document. As part of this process, various environmental and other impacts of the preferred alternative and no build alternative will be evaluated and described in the Draft EA. A Design Concept Report of the preferred alternative will also be prepared, which reflects a conceptual level of design for the intersection.

Ultimately, this evaluation will identify a recommended build or no build alternative for agency, stakeholder and public review. The study team anticipates presenting the Draft Environmental Assessment and recommended alternative at a public hearing in 2023. The public will have an opportunity to review and provide comments on the Draft EA document. A Final Environmental Assessment (EA) will identify ADOT’s selected alternative.

Proposed Project Schedule: Design, Right Of Way, Construction

If a Build Alternative for interchange improvements is selected, the following tentative schedule has been identified:

  • Design and Right of Way Acquisition – Beginning in 2024
  • Construction – Beginning in 2025
Simplified project process diagram


Click the images above to enlarge.

Simplified project timeline


Click the images above to enlarge.

Current Alternatives Being Considered

Intersection Alternatives Being Considered

Two design alternatives are currently being considered for the intersection. Both alternatives raise 35th Avenue to create a new raised intersection with Indian School Road over Grand Avenue and the BNSF railroad. This eliminates any roadway crossings with the railroad.

For each of the two design concept alternatives, the following is provided below:

  • Aerial images showing the proposed new layout of the arterial and connecting roadways.
  • Cross-sections showing the existing and proposed lane configurations on Indian School Road and on 35th Avenue.

Click on each image to enlarge and see details.

Alternative 1

Description

  • Raises 35th Avenue to create a new elevated intersection with Indian School Road above Grand Avenue
  • Maintains the existing alignment of 35th Avenue
  • Shifts Indian School Road to the north
  • Constructs new bridges for 35th Avenue and Indian School Road to pass over the railroad and Grand Avenue

Considerations

  • Eliminates vehicle and pedestrian crossings of the railroad
  • Enhances traffic operations along Grand Avenue by eliminating existing 6-legged intersection
  • Allows for future high-capacity transit along both Indian School Road and 35th Avenue
  • Results in right-of-way impacts and loss of existing access for properties along both sides of 35th Avenue due to the elevated roadway
  • Limited opportunities to restore access to adjacent properties which could result in numerous right-of-way acquisitions on both sides of 35th Avenue
  • Would likely require long-term closures of 35th Avenue during construction
  • Would impact numerous utilities within 35th Avenue
  • Anticipate slightly higher project cost than Alternative 2
  • Potential environmental impacts related to noise, visual, and historic properties
  • Potential impact to the railroad storage tracks east of 35th Avenue

Alternative 1 Alternative 1 Alternative 1


Click the images above to enlarge.


Alternative 2

Description

  • Raises 35th Avenue to create a new elevated intersection with Indian School Road above Grand Avenue
  • Shifts 35th Avenue to the west
  • Shifts Indian School Road to the north
  • Constructs new bridges for 35th Avenue and Indian School Road to pass over railroad and Grand Avenue

Considerations

  • Eliminates vehicle and pedestrian crossings of the railroad
  • Enhances traffic operations along Grand Avenue by eliminating existing 6-legged intersection
  • Allows for future high-capacity transit along both Indian School Road and 35th Avenue
  • Results in right-of-way impacts and loss of existing access for properties along both sides of 35th Avenue due to the elevated roadway
  • Reduces impacts on the east side of 35th Avenue and provides more flexibility to restore access on the east side
  • Reduces constructability challenges resulting in less disruption to traffic during construction
  • Fewer utility impacts along 35th Avenue
  • Anticipate slightly lower project cost than Alternative 1
  • Potential environmental impacts related to noise, visual, and historic properties
  • No impacts to the railroad storage tracks east of 35th Avenue

Alternative 2 Alternative 2 Alternative 2


Click the images above to enlarge.


Roadway Cross-sections for Alternatives

35th Avenue:

Existing and Proposed

Existing and proposed cross-section diagrams

Indian School Road:

Proposed and existing concepts

Existing and proposed cross-section diagrams

Additional Improvement Concepts

Eliminate the BNSF railroad crossing

Improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities

Improve the transit corridor

Improve safety for roadway users

Evaluate future travel demand and anticipated traffic level of service

Identify potential environmental impacts

Identify potential right of way acquisition and changes to property access

Minimize construction impacts to traffic and adjacent properties

Mitigate conflicts with existing utilities

Interactive Public Comment Map

Explore the intersection using the interactive map below. To make a comment just click the “add comment” button then select a point on the map to drop a pin and enter your feedback. You can also click on other pins to see other comments provided.

Provide Your Comments

Comments will be accepted between January 16 and February 21, 2023.

Online Survey

Please take our brief survey to provide your feedback on the current proposed intersection alternatives. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. After answering the questions please hit "Submit" to ensure that your answers are received.

You can also comment through the following methods:

  • Meetings: Attend the public meeting on January 31, 2023.
  • E-mail: ADOTGrand35Study@hdrinc.com
  • Call: 602.474.3952
  • Mail to: ADOT Grand-35 Study c/o HDR, Inc., 20 E. Thomas Rd., Suite 1 2500, Phoenix, AZ 85012

PUBLIC COMMENTS SURVEY

Please take our brief survey to provide your feedback on potential intersection improvements. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. After answering the questions please hit "Submit" to ensure that your answers are received.

Public Meeting

Join us for a public meeting to learn more about the current options being evaluated to improve the intersection, ask questions and provide comments to the study team.

Meeting documents

Public Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023
5:30 - 8 p.m.

Alhambra High School Auditorium
3839 W Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85019

Public Meeting Agenda
5:30 p.m. — Doors Open/Open House
6-6:30 p.m. — Presentation
6:30-7 p.m. — Q&A
7-7:30 p.m. — Presentation
7:30-8 p.m. — Q&A

The presentation and meeting materials will be provided in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.*
*Other languages upon request.

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact Nancy Becerra at 623.695.7411 or ngbecerra@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

English Presentation

Download Video Transcript

Vietnamese Presentation

Download Video Transcript

Spanish Presentation

Download Video Transcript

Q&A

1. Where can I find detailed maps of the proposed interchange design concept alternatives?

You can find detailed maps of the two proposed interchange improvement alternative concepts on the study website at ADOTGrand35Study.com.

2. What happens if a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected through this study?

If ADOT selects a build alternative for intersection improvements through this study, the next steps would be to conduct final design and then begin right-of-way acquisition. The study is expected to conclude in 2023, with final design beginning in 2024. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.

3. How do I know if my property will be impacted?

Potential right-of-way impacts and access changes will be identified later in the study process once a preferred design concept alternative is identified and compared against the No-Build Alternative. If a Build alternative is selected, right of way impacts will be identified during final design and affected property owners will be contacted.

4. When will right of way be acquired and what is the right of way acquisition process?

If a Build alternative is identified and receives final environmental approval to move forward, then the project would move into the final design phase in 2024. Specific right of way needs would be identified, and the right of way acquisition process would begin. Right of way plans will be developed and property appraisals will be prepared for the affected properties and property owners will be contacted at that time. Any questions on the right of way process can be directed to Dennis Haley at dhaley@azdot.gov or 602.712.7432.

5. If a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected, how long will construction take and what will the traffic impacts be?

If a grade-separation is selected to move forward, construction is expected to last approximately two years, depending on many different factors. Due to the need to raise and realign roadways and construct bridges, project construction will likely require substantial traffic restrictions and road closures. As part of the study, we will be reviewing these issues and working with the stakeholders to develop a proposed plan for construction and minimize impacts wherever possible.

6. How will businesses in the area be affected during construction? Will access to businesses be impacted?

ADOT is required to maintain access/entry to existing businesses during construction. If this is not achievable then a particular property may need to be acquired by ADOT Right-of-Way and the owner will be compensated accordingly.

7. If a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected, what will the impacts be to pedestrians, bikes, and public transit during construction?

In general, ADOT will attempt to maintain pedestrian, bike, and transit access during construction. As part of the study, we will be reviewing these issues and working with the stakeholders to develop a plan for construction. A construction contractor would need to submit any proposed construction-related restrictions and closures to ADOT and the city for review and approval and would need to provide alternative access wherever possible.

8. How could railroad operations be impacted?

The railroad operations will be maintained for the selected alternative as BNSF Railway will generally not allow any adverse impacts to their operations.

9. How will pedestrian, bike and transit facilities be improved if a build alternative for intersection improvements is selected?

A build alternative could include many different enhancements to the pedestrian, bicycle, and bus facilities such as additional or wider sidewalks, wider outside shoulders for bikes, separate bus pull-outs or new bus shelters.

10. What is a grade-separation?

A grade separation completely separates one of the roadways at the intersection to either raise or lower it through an overpass or underpass.

11. How would you raise or lower streets?

Streets can be raised by placing them on top of dirt with walls along the sides to contain that dirt and constructing bridges to pass over other roads or the railroad. Along the Grand Avenue corridor, there are numerous examples of roads that have been raised. Similarly, they can be lowered by removing dirt and placing walls along the sides to retain that dirt, similar to where Grand Avenue goes under 59th Avenue.

12. How much of an influence does public input have on the selection of an alternative?

Input received during the alternatives analysis phase will be considered by the study team to consider in evaluating the alternatives and better understand the public’s priorities and concerns. Public input will be one factor that will be used in refining the alternatives, along with engineering feasibility, cost and how well the recommended alternative meets the project goals.

13. By 2040, the average delay at this intersection is expected to increase if no improvements are made. Is the average delay expected to decrease if improvements are made? If so, by how much?

At this point in the study, we have not conducted traffic analysis on the improvement concepts being considered. We will conduct the traffic analysis on the recommended build alternative a little later in the study. However, one of the goals is to improve traffic operations within the study area and we will share more information on the traffic analysis once the analysis has been completed.

14. Who would be responsible for funding if the project is built? How will it be paid for?

Currently, the funding includes federal money and Highway User Revenue Funds through the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), generated through the voter-approved half-cent sales tax in Maricopa County. Additionally, MAG has submitted this project to two Grant programs. If selected, the project will receive additional federal money through the Grant program.

15. When will the public have an opportunity to learn more about and provide input on the intersection design options being considered?

ADOT is currently conducting public outreach and seeking public comments on the two current design alternatives for the intersection. A public meeting to present the current alternatives is being held Jan. 31 and all materials from the meeting, including the presentation, are available on ADOTGrand35Study.com. The public can provide comments on the alternatives through Feb. 21, 2023.

In mid-2023 we anticipate selecting a recommended design concept alternative for the intersection and releasing a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Design Concept Report (DCR) with more details, including the results of the environmental analysis and any proposed mitigation measures. The Recommended Build Alternative will be compared with a No Build (or do nothing) alternative in the Draft EA document. The public will be able to review the draft EA and DCR, and a public hearing will be held to provide an overview of the EA and DCR and an opportunity for formal public comment. The public will be able to comment on the draft document through other methods as well.

16. Will noise walls be constructed?

A noise study will be prepared to determine where noise mitigation is warranted based on ADOT policy and federal noise regulations.

17. Will this project be constructed at the same time as the I-17/Indian School Rd project?

If a build alternative is selected, construction of this project is planned to start in 2025. The I-17/Indian School Road interchange project is currently on hold pending further review.

18. Could this project go away if funding is reduced?

Every year, the regional program is updated and projects (including this one) could be delayed or other projects could be advanced, based on funding availability and current priorities.

19. Why isn’t one of the options to make this stretch of US 60/Grand Avenue between I-17 and Loop 101 a highway like US 60 in the east Valley?

This option was evaluated in previous studies and was not chosen. This section of US 60/Grand Avenue is much older than the US 60 Superstition Freeway and has substantial existing development along the corridor that would be costly to acquire and result in significant community impacts. It is simply not feasible and not included in regional plans. The Regional Transportation Plan includes smaller projects to improve traffic capacity, safety and multi-modal connections on the Grand Avenue corridor.

20. What are the current traffic volumes here on Grand Avenue, Indian School Road and 35th Avenue? Which road has the most traffic?

Both Grand Avenue and Indian School Rd currently carry around 50,000 vehicles per day. 35th Avenue carries around 30,000 vehicles per day. By 2040, the traffic volumes on all three roads are expected to increase.

Stay Informed

Thank you for your interest in the Grand-35 Study. We appreciate your participation and input on potential improvements to the US 60 (Grand Avenue), 35th Avenue and Indian School Road intersection.

E-mail Address:

ADOTGrand35Study@hdrinc.com

Phone Call:

602.474.3952

Mailing Address:

ADOT Grand-35 Study c/o HDR, Inc.
20 E. Thomas Rd.
Suite 2500
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Civil Rights/Derechos Civiles/ADA

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Site-ID Survey

Site-ID Survey (Español)

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