ADOT proposes $4M plan to restore limited access to 5 miles of SR 88

Jan 9, 2024, 3:00 PM

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation proposed a $4 million investment to restore limited access to a 5-mile stretch of State Route 88, also known as the Apache Trail, that was damaged by flooding in 2019.

According to a press release, ADOT’s interim plan would restore the roadway to a condition that can accommodate vehicles with a four-wheel drive or high clearance as well as utility terrain vehicles. The plan will be considered by the State Transportation Board in the city of Maricopa on Friday.

SR 88 was closed in 2019 between Fish Creek Hill Overlook and Apache Lake Marina Road, about 60 miles east of downtown Phoenix, due to the Woodbury Fire. Subsequent flooding caused extensive damage to the gravel roadway, drainage system, and bridge and guardrail approaches. This resulted in a section being blocked by boulders and left unstable rock faces, which made the road vulnerable to additional damage and created numerous safety issues. A 1.7-mile stretch west of Apache Lake was reopened in 2022 to restore access to the Reavis Trailhead.

ADOT’s plan would include removing boulders on Fish Creek Hill, making repairs to retaining walls, installing new signage, mitigating rockfall as necessary between Fish Creek Hill Overlook and Fish Creek, cleaning and replacing damaged drainage, and various other steps.

Maintenance crews are already scheduled to begin preliminary work ahead of construction in February. Contracted construction would begin later in 2024 pending approval from the State Transportation Board. ADOT cannot schedule work until the U.S. Forest Services reviews and approves the interim project design because SR 88 follows an easement through federal land.

ADOT has a long-term plan for SR 88 that would cost $33.7 million and features numerous extensive improvements. ADOT is pursuing federal funding for the long-term plan.

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ADOT proposes $4M plan to restore limited access to 5 miles of SR 88