Eleven years ago, the City of Goodyear in the southwest Valley struck a deal with a developer to build a 15-mile passage from Goodyear to the small, isolated community of Mobile, but an unexpected economic downturn made the deal fall through.
“The original plan was that a developer would pay for the initial construction of phase one, which is two lanes, one in either direction,” said Corinne Holliday, communications manager for the City of Goodyear. “But that was before the recession.”
Now, the plan may be back on track — the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the Sonoran Valley Parkway project in April, clearing the way for Goodyear to move forward with construction.
The Sonoran Valley Parkway would run from the intersection of Riggs and Rainbow Valley roads in Goodyear across BLM land to Mobile.
“The proposed parkway is an infrastructure improvement that would increase access to public services for the surrounding communities, significantly decreasing emergency service travel distance from approximately 60 miles to 18 miles,” said BLM Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas in a statement. “This project falls right in line with my commitment to work closely with the communities that we serve to improve their quality of life.”
The project would modernize and expand local transportation infrastructure, support economic and job growth and facilitate emergency services in the fastest-growing county in the nation, according to the BLM.
But Goodyear does not have money in the budget right now to complete the parkway, so the city is hoping to make a new deal, Holliday said.
“It helps being able to obtain that right-of-way now, so once a new development partner comes forward we can move quicker with the process,” she said.
Goodyear annexed 67 square miles between its existing land and the community of Mobile in 2007, expanding its footprint and paving the way for new development.
Goodyear’s original agreement with local developer Montage Holdings said the developer would build 45,000 homes in Mobile to create a community called Amaranth and foot the $45 million bill for phase one of the parkway.
“It’s likely now that the city would negotiate a similar arrangement, but that developer hasn’t been identified yet,” Holliday said.
The project will not have a timeline for completion until Goodyear finds funding, she said.
To see the final environmental impact statement (EIS) from the BLM, click here.
This story was originally published at Chamber Business News.