Central District Projects

Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway)

Ivanhoe Street Traffic Interchange Study

In 2018, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) began an environmental study to potentially realign Ivanhoe Street and include ramps to the future Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway to address access and traffic concerns. The study of this interchange has also been supported by the Maricopa County Department of Transportation and the Maricopa Association of Governments. The renderings below show the proposed design concept of an Ivanhoe Street interchange.

As part of the environmental study, ADOT requested C202P to draft preliminary design plans to determine the feasibility of adding an interchange without acquiring additional properties. Also, ADOT began an environmental re-evaluation to determine the feasibility and analyze any changes in environment and social impacts of adding an interchange.


Proposed Interchange Concepts

Initially, ADOT presented one interchange concept to the public: a typical diamond interchange with access to the east (Dusty Lane Community) and west (Gila River Indian Community). After receiving input from stakeholders, ADOT has developed four additional alternative concepts that will be evaluated to mitigate impacts of the proposed traffic interchange, design plans of the concepts are available online:

  1. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; the Dusty Lane Community access would be at Ray Road under the freeway from 51st Avenue; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community
  2. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; relocate Dusty Lane to the north side of the freeway; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community (NOTE: this concept is not feasible due to protections under Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act)
  3. Build the traffic interchange near multi-use crossing #3 to the southeast of the Dusty Lane Community; the Dusty Lane Community access would be at Ivanhoe Street under the freeway from 51st Avenue; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community (NOTE: this concept is not feasible due to protections under Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act)
  4. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; build a restricted access frontage road from Ivanhoe Street along 45th Avenue to Galveston Street; restricted freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community

ADOT is considering all input received from the public. Stakeholders with input on any of the concepts are encouraged to provide comments to ADOT prior to July 19, 2018. Comments can be sent to:

  • Send an email to SMFinterchangestudy@hdrinc.com
  • Call the project line at 833.310.2470
  • Mail comments to c/o ADOT Communications, 101 N. 1st Avenue, Suite 1950, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1923

Questions and Answers

What is the purpose and need of the traffic interchange?

The Ivanhoe Street interchange would provide access to local residents and the Gila River Indian Community (Community).

Why does ADOT require another environmental study for a possible addition of an Ivanhoe Street traffic interchange?

The traffic interchange was not included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD); its inclusion at this point constitutes a change in scope that must be cleared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through the completion of an environmental review process.

Would ADOT need to acquire additional right of way/properties to add the interchange?

Adding on- and off-ramps would not result in the need to acquire additional right of way/properties.

What are the projected traffic volumes at the Ivanhoe Street interchange?

Based on traffic projections obtained from the Maricopa Association of Governments for the year 2040, approximately 2,000 vehicles per day would use each of the on- and off-ramps at Ivanhoe Street. The freeway is projected to carry 117,000 vehicles per day in 2040.

Would an interchange at Ivanhoe Street provide access to the casino?

If approved, the Gila River Indian Community would be responsible for building a road connecting Ivanhoe Street west of the interchange to Komatke Lane.

Would an interchange at Ivanhoe Street affect access to Dusty Lane?

Access to Dusty Lane will be maintained via Ivanhoe Street and 45th Avenue in both the current and proposed design. 

What does the environmental study consider? How long will it take to complete?

The environmental study will consider all of the elements considered in the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD), which include potential impacts the project would have on the physical, natural and human environment. It’s anticipated the study, which began in February 2018, will be completed in August (approximately six months). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and ADOT will evaluate the environmental re-evaluation and public feedback received and determine the outcome in August 2018.

If approved, when would an interchange be constructed?

If approved, the traffic interchange could be constructed in conjunction with current freeway construction, and will not delay the opening of the South Mountain Freeway in late 2019.

What is the cost to add an Ivanhoe interchange? How will it be funded?

The cost of the new interchange is estimated to be $10 million. It would be funded through project contingency and/or regional funds.

Would an interchange impact access to the South Mountain Park Preserve (SMPP) trail system?

No, an interchange would not change access to (SMPP) Trails. The Maricopa Trail and Sun Circle Trail will go under the freeway at the closest multi-use crossing; coordination with the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation department has been ongoing. This crossing will maintain that trail access to SMPP.

  • There will not be bike access to the freeway at this or any other location.
  • Any park infrastructure (trailheads, parking, etc.) would be on City of Phoenix property at the discretion of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

Is there any benefit to adding the TI other than providing access to the casino?

The interchange would provide access to residents, improve emergency access, and relieve traffic congestion at 51st Avenue and Estrella Drive.

Why is this TI be considered now and not previously?

At the time of the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) a traffic interchange slightly north and west of 51st Avenue was included within the project scope. The intersection was offset and 51st Avenue was realigned to create a more perpendicular intersection that resulted in minimized right of way (ROW) needs. After the ROD, ADOT determined that the design of this concept would impact two Gila River Indian Community (Community) well sites that were held in trust. ADOT does not have eminent domain authority to acquire these well sites, so the interchange was redesigned and relocated to Estrella Drive during final design. Relocating the 51st Avenue interchange to Estrella Drive resulted in a net decrease in total ROW needed for the project while still providing access and mobility to the area surrounding 51st Avenue and Estrella Drive.

The area surrounding 51st Avenue and Estrella Drive is agricultural with a few low-density residential properties. The only major traffic generator in the area is the Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino located on Community land approximately two miles south and east of the Estrella Drive traffic interchange. A concern shared by the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County (who maintain 51st Avenue and Estrella Drive outside of the ADOT ROW) is the potential traffic impacts at the existing rural-type intersections from casino traffic.

In an effort to improve access to the casino and surrounding area as well as mitigate traffic concerns at the Estrella Drive interchange, ADOT initiated a study to evaluate adding a new traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street. The freeway plans already included a bridge over Ivanhoe Street to accommodate access to the remaining homes north of the freeway within the “Dusty Lane Community.” The Dusty Lane Community is a Maricopa County island east of 51st Avenue tucked between the SMPP and the Community that includes a collection of low-density large-lot residences. The new Ivanhoe Street traffic interchange would provide direct access from the freeway to these residences. If the interchange is constructed, the Community plans to construct a new connector road from Komatke Lane to Ivanhoe Street to enhance access to the hotel and casino.

How would the new traffic interchange be funded?

The new traffic interchange would be funded using Regional Area Road Funds (also known as RARF or Maricopa County ½-cent sales tax funds). The Gila River Indian Community (Community) is not funding the TI. The Community would be responsible for constructing any infrastructure on their land, such as roads to connect to the traffic interchange.

Where are the Community well sites and how do they affect the location of the traffic interchange at 51st Avenue?

There are two parcels on the west side of 51st Avenue that are held in trust for the Community. There is an easement for an irrigation ditch and access road between the two parcels.  The 51st Avenue spur traffic interchange design presented in the Record of Decision (ROD) would have impacted the northern parcel as well as the easement. ADOT does not have the ability to condemn property rights and interests owned by or on behalf of the Community.

Additionally, due to the skew between the freeway and 51st Avenue, the ramps on the east side of 51st Avenue would result in the need for additional South Mountain Park/Preserve land, which is afforded protection under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act.  There are also Traditional Cultural Properties [afforded similar protections under Section 4(f)] in the area that further constrains the location of the freeway and any ramps.

ADOT’s offers to acquire the land and easements from the Community were denied. Therefore, the constraints related to the well parcels and easements have not been removed.

Will there be a sound wall adjacent to the Dusty Lane Community?

Yes, Based on public feedback, ADOT restudied the need for a noise wall along the Dusty Lane Community. A noise wall will be constructed on the north side of the freeway from approximately 43rd Avenue to Ray Road with or without a traffic interchange.

In 2016, Connect 202 Partners completed a noise study covering the Dusty Lane Community that evaluated a 5,800-foot-long and 20-foot-high wall based on noise evaluation guidance in place at that time. The study concluded that the noise wall was not reasonable because the cost-per-benefited-receptor (those receiving a 5 decibel (dBA) or greater reduction) was greater than $49,000 threshold.

In 2018, ADOT conducted a new study to assess the location and number of receptors (any location where people are affected by traffic noise) based on the unique nature of the adjacent residential community and further optimized the length and height of the noise wall to address the feasibility and reasonableness factors. Additional consideration was taken with respect to the need to maximize benefited receptors as well as optimize the height and length to meet the reasonableness requirements that follow updated noise evaluation guidance. 

The final configuration recommended for the Dusty Lane Community varies in height up to 14 feet and 4,800 feet in length (roughly from 43rd Avenue to Ray Road). The proposed noise wall location can be seen on the roll plots at www.azdot.gov/projects/central-district-projects/loop-202-(south-mountain-freeway)/outreach/ivanhoe-street-study.

What are the feasibility and reasonableness factors for noise walls?

ADOT considers mitigation for receivers (receivers represent receptors when modeled in the FHWA Traffic Noise Model) predicted to be impacted by traffic noise associated with a proposed transportation improvement project. For a mitigation measure, such as a noise barrier, to be proposed for the project it must meet both feasibility and reasonableness criteria.

Feasibility factors are:

  • Engineering
    • Safety, barrier height, curvature, and breaks in barriers
    • Topography, drainage and utilities
    • Maintenance requirements, access to adjacent properties
    • Overall project purpose
  • Acoustic
    • Achieve at least a 5 decibels (dBA) highway traffic noise reduction at 50 percent of impacted receptors

Reasonableness factors are collectively achieving and taking into account:

    1. Viewpoints or preferences of property owners and residents,
    2. Barrier noise reduction design goal of at least 7 dBA – at least half of the benefited receptors in the first row closest to the transportation facility shall achieve this, and
    3. Cost-effectiveness with a maximum cost of abatement of $49,000 per benefited receptor (cost-per-benefited-receptor) with barrier costs calculated at $35 per square foot ($85 per square foot if constructed on a structure such as a concrete barrier). 

 

How will public feedback be used to determine if an interchange is built?

The feedback from all stakeholders is important to inform ADOT and FHWA of key issues and concerns. While there is no specific vote or weighting of input, ADOT and FHWA will consider those most affected in the identification of mitigation measures.

Does the Dusty Lane Community have fire protection?

Yes. There are two fire hydrants located in the Dusty Lane Community that have black hydrant caps as they are maintenance hydrants, used specifically for servicing and maintaining a large water main that runs through the area. Because water service from these maintenance hydrants is not guaranteed, in the event of an emergency, the Phoenix Fire Department and the Laveen Fire District are equipped and prepared to bring in an alternative source of water (i.e. tanker trucks). These hydrants will not be moved for freeway construction, and will stay in their current location indefinitely.

What access options are being considered in this area?

Initially, ADOT presented one interchange concept to the public: a typical diamond interchange with access to the east (Dusty Lane Community) and west (Gila River Indian Community). After receiving input from stakeholders, ADOT has developed four additional alternative concepts that will be evaluated to mitigate impacts of the proposed traffic interchange. Design plans of the concepts are also available online:

  1. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; the Dusty Lane Community access would be at Ray Road under the freeway from 51st Avenue; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community
  2. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; relocate Dusty Lane to the north side of the freeway; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community (NOTE: this concept is not feasible due to protections under Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act)
  3. Build the traffic interchange near multi-use crossing #3 to the southeast of the Dusty Lane Community; the Dusty Lane Community access would be at Ivanhoe Street under the freeway from 51st Avenue; no freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community (NOTE: this concept is not feasible due to protections under Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act)
  4. Build the traffic interchange at Ivanhoe Street; build a restricted access frontage road from Ivanhoe Street along 45th Avenue to Galveston Street; restricted freeway access to the Dusty Lane Community

ADOT is considering all input received from the public. Stakeholders with input on any of the concepts are encouraged to provide comments to ADOT prior to July 19, 2018. Comments can be sent to:

 

How can constituents provide input?

There are several ways for you to participate:


All comments must be submitted by July 19, 2018 to be included in the study record and considered in the decision.


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Civil Rights

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

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad. Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.