The Phoenix Maintenance District is divided into five separate service sections: Roadway, Landscape, Electrical Operations, Traffic Engineering and Administrative Services. Each section is distinct and contains one or more stand-alone organizations, known as “Org’s”. Each Org is responsible for a specific geographical area or work function. Currently there are 20 separate Org’s in the Phoenix Maintenance District; the largest has 25 authorized full time positions, and the smallest just 4 positions.
The District’s maintenance responsibilities encompass a wide variety of activities; with duties as diverse as snow removal and desert landscaping. We maintain approximately 3267 maintenance lane miles of roadway; 4,879 acres of landscaping; approximately 138 miles of drainage channels, canals, tunnels and storm water retention ponds; 100 miles of tri-cable median barrier; more than 6200 impact attenuators and sand barrels; and over 80 miles of sound walls. The additional features that must be maintained have risen dramatically. This trend will continue due to the accelerated construction program in the Valley, and will continue to place even more strain on our budget.
The rapid development in this geographic area has resulted in extraordinary demands on District personnel to provide acceptable levels of service. Our BlueStake Utility-Locating Org. completed 40,965 field-marking requests this past fiscal year. The Permit and Encroachment Section reviewed over 640 permit requests. Our Signal and Lighting Org. has experienced an unusual increase in work load; in addition to their normal duties of maintaining over 16,782 lighting units, 157 traffic signal systems and 67 variable message signs, they must also provide maintenance support to the Traffic Operation Center for the constantly expanding FMS System. That system now exceeds 109 closed circuit video cameras, miles of supporting fiber optic cable; 166 acoustic detector panels and 513 monitoring systems.
Two significant traffic trends, higher volumes and increased speeds, are dramatically redefining our maintenance responsibilities. More time is spent on accident clearing and repairing damaged safety features such as guardrail end-treatments, guardrail, and light poles. Our ALERT team continues to operate efficiently and cooperate with the DPS and surrounding jurisdictions. Average daily traffic counts for the five major freeways, on a district wide basis, range from 100,000 to 300,000 vehicles per-day (vpd). One of our busiest segments is on the I-10 east of the tunnel under Margaret T. Hance Park.