Cave Creek Road to be resurfaced

By Curtis Riggs | May 27, 2009

Stimulus money set for both towns
CAVE CREEK/CAREFREE – Cave Creek Road will be resurfaced next years thanks to federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, which are slated for the two Desert Foothills communities.

Cave Creek intends to do a “mill and pave” resurfacing of the road from Spur Cross Road east to Scopa Trail, which is the Cave Creek/Carefree border, with the near $615,000 it is receiving in federal stimulus dollars, said Cave Creek Town Engineer Wayne Anderson.

Carefree will begin at Scopa Trail and resurface Cave Creek Road from there to its eastern border with the $588,340 it is receiving in ARRA funds, according to Town Administrator Gary Neiss.

While officials in both towns are happy to receive the money for much-needed maintenance on Cave Creek Road, many in both communities would like to have seen the money spent elsewhere. Cave Creek wanted to upgrade the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway, but the difference between the stimulus money and the $2,2 million cost of reworking the intersection made the Cave Creek Road resurfacing a fallback project.

Several Carefree citizens and incoming Town Councilman Doug Stavoe asked for crosswalks across Cave Creek Road, and Tom Darlington, to make it easier for residents to cross the road to the Town Center/Easy Street area. Making up the difference between stimulus dollars and the expected multi-million cost to engineer and install crosswalks caused Carefree officials to chose a fallback project.

Another critical issue in the receipt of the ARRA funds is that projects are “shovel ready” by the Nov. 30, 2009 latest deadline. Shovel ready means the projects should be designed, have environmental and utility clearances and the required road rights-of-way.

Re-working Cave Creek Road was a fairly easy decision in both communities because the funds must be spent on major roads and just a few roads qualify. In Carefree the other options would be Tom Darlington or Pima. Scottsdale controls the Carefree Highway.
Cave Creek Town Manager Usama Abujbarah said the other options in Cave Creek were Schoolhouse, Spur Cross or Fleming Springs roads.

“We thought the money would be best used on Cave Creek Road,” he said, indicating the roadwork can easily be started by the Nov. 30 deadline.

Cave Creek has an advantage in that Councilman Dick Esser serves on the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) subcommittee, which is dealing with qualifying projects despite Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) oversight of funding.

“It is an ever-changing process,” he said about qualifying for the stimulus money.

According to Esser, both Cave Creek and Carefree will receive money based on the community population.

“They need the applications in by October to receive the money in November,” he said about the latest ARRA deadlines.