Town Center improvements ahead of schedule

By Curtis Riggs | August 27, 2008

Turn lanes in; lights, signs coming soon
CAREFREE – The right-turn (deceleration) lanes into the downtown area have been installed and should be striped soon.

The turn-lanes at Wampum and Lucky Lane on Tom Darlington and the one at Cave Creek Road and Hum are designed to increase business downtown and make the Easy Street area more visible to tourists and locals alike. That is why Carefree leaders want the improvements in place for this tourist season.

carefree turn lanesCarefree transportation project coordinator Patrick Neal said the cost to install the three deceleration lanes was $107,500.

“It went nicely,” Neal said about being a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. “Everything fell into place.”

The new downtown informational monument signs, which are mini-replicas of Carefree’s iconic sundial, will be installed by the new deceleration lanes. Downtown business and activity signs will hang down from the sundial signs to alert tourists and locals about what the downtown area offers.

“The big focus is to get people into the businesses so we want to get this done before the season,” Carefree Planning Director Gary Neiss said. The street improvements, signs, which will cost $60,000, and the gas lamp district will hopefully draw more people downtown.

Fifteen electrical lamps will be installed along Easy Street and around Spanish Village. Two gas lamps will be installed near the sundial. The new lights will cost around $160,000.

The goal is to have all three components of the downtown revitalization in place before the first Town Center concert, which will take place in the Town Center amphitheater on Thursday, Sept. 18. As is the case every year, local favorite Igor’s Jazz Cowboys will kick off the season at 7 p.m.

Neiss said the materials for the lamps and signs are on order and should be received soon enough for the new equipment to be installed by mid-September.

Photo caption: Right turn (deceleration) lanes like this one at Tom Darlington and Wampum Way are designed to make it easier for people to find the downtown Easy Street area. Carefree leaders want this turn lane and two others in place for the start of the tourist season later this fall.
Photo by Curtis Riggs