Initial plans show significant work to be done around Ritz-Carlton resort

A map shows where road construction around the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley plat is planned. (submitted graphic)

Several miles of roadway encompassing the in-the-works Ritz-Carlton project within the Town of Paradise Valley are being planned for reconstruction, including the installation of two new traffic lights along Lincoln Drive.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the municipality hosted an open house for residents to learn details and ask questions on design plans for Lincoln Drive, Indian Bend Road and Mockingbird Lane.

The roadway projects stem from a 2015 development agreement with Five Star Development — the group responsible for the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley resort — and the surrounding three sides of the square property.

Presented by new Paradise Valley employee, Jason Harris, capital projects administer, the proposed plans include:

  • Installing traffic signals on Lincoln Drive at Mockingbird Lane and at Quail Run Road;
  • Roundabouts on Mockingbird Lane at Indian Bend Road, Cheney Drive and Northern Avenue;
  • A sewer and storm drain upgrade;
  • Utility relocations;
  • Landscaping to include medians; and
  • Bike lanes.

There aren’t bike lanes proposed on major arterials, town officials noted.

Earlier in September, the Town Council hosted a meeting on the proposed changes in the general vicinity, yielding several residents in attendance. According to Mr. Harris, the road improvements along Lincoln, Mockingbird and Indian Bend are a part of the town’s capital improvement project list.

A view of northern town road construction. (submitted graphic)

“They’re actually paying our contractor for their portion of those improvements,” he said at the open house. “They’ll be working with my oversight, through Town Council, with the contract that’s still under development.”

Outside of town limits, Five Star Development has planned roadway improvements to include Indian Bend Road east of Palamarie Boulevard to Scottsdale Road; and includes three new traffic lights on Scottsdale Road, plans show.

While many residents voiced their comments in September, there were a handful of residential questions at the October open house ranging from Quail Run Road’s future, how to mitigate traffic during construction, what impact Lincoln Drive’s median will have on left turns, and roundabouts.

Town Engineer Paul Mood says neither the town’s project, nor SmokeTree Resort’s current renovation application are intended to punch Quail Run Road all the way through to Lincoln Drive.

As for traffic control and mitigation, the proposed plans are only at a 30 percent threshold, and those discussions are expected to occur in November, Mr. Harris explained.

“We are currently at 30 percent plans and would like to address a lot of traffic control being proposed with the contractor at our November council session,” he explained.

A representative from Achen-Gardner Construction noted the roundabouts on Cheney Drive will be done in segments to maintain access throughout the project.

The Lincoln Drive median planned for the east side of town appears to block some left-turn egress/ingress areas, which Mr. Mood says the design team is attempting to provide as many access points as plausible.

“We’re designing the Lincoln Drive improvements and the medians to the town standards, and we’re also looking at Maricopa County roadway design standards, we’re looking at city of Scottsdale design standards — the Town of Paradise Valley does not have our own defined standards — but there are limits. You’re only supposed to have a median break technically every 660 feet,” he said.

“That is from basically Mockingbird to Quail Run would be the next opening, and then Quail Run to the city limits of Scottsdale — we are working with the design team to provide as many access points as safely possible.”

The project schedule is slated to be:

  • Nov. 15: Council update on 30 percent plans;
  • November to February 2019: Utility relocations;
  • January 2019: council award of construction contract;
  • February/March 2019: construction commences;
  • March 2020: construction complete.

“Five Star Development and the town are working very closely,” Mr. Harris said.

“They have a contractor on board, and we are trying to meet and run sequence with them to minimize traffic impacts and get this road open as quickly as we can.”

Information and maps on the project can be found at: paradisevalleyaz.gov/671/Roadway-Improvement-Related-to-Ritz-Carl

News Services Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at mrosequist@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Mrosequist_

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