Located in Peoria, Arizona, Northern Parkway is a key corridor that leads to Northern Avenue, which connects the cities of Peoria, Glendale and El Mirage and lies just one mile north of one of the state’s top entertainment tax revenue generators, the Westgate Entertainment District.
B&N was contracted by the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) to minimize congestion, address improvements and accommodate 20 years of traffic growth along four miles of Northern Avenue as part of the Northern Parkway Corridor project. A previous corridor study had been completed over a decade prior, but traffic forecasts and revenue projections differed greatly from the prerecession project. The eastern four miles of the dated project exceeded available funding and were not implementable because it all had to be constructed at once. It also required large amounts of undeveloped land, hindering economic development of prime real estate.
The goals of the new project included matching both the traffic projections and budget and reducing right-of-way needs to help spur economic growth. The corridor to be studied included an interchange with SR-101L and improvements to Grand Avenue (US 60), both under jurisdiction of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Because Northern Parkway spans between multiple cities and jurisdictions, B&N had to build consensus among all partner agencies: the cities of Glendale, Peoria and El Mirage; ADOT; MCDOT; and the Maricopa Associations of Government (MAG), the metropolitan planning organization for the region.
With many pieces to the puzzle, B&N developed a solution that unified the partners and project approach while completing the scoping and design plans. To address the issues, B&N conducted multiple group and one-on-one meetings to identify each partner agencies’ priorities. Simultaneously, B&N coordinated with MAG to develop updated traffic forecasts. B&N then designed alternatives that addressed the priorities and forecasted traffic demand. The alternatives were designed utilizing performance based practical design (PBPD) practices.
The selected recommended alternative includes converting the existing diamond interchange at Northern Avenue and SR-101L to a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). The DDI reduces right-of-way and utility impacts, provides the safest alternative and accommodates the projected traffic growth along the corridor. The estimated cost of this alternative was 27% of the prior concept.
B&N provided cost-saving solutions that leveraged federal dollars, provided real estate clarity for new development, analyzed and addressed safety impacts and traffic congestion, provided a tailored public outreach process and developed phaseable solutions. By building consensus among the project partners, B&N was able to assist MCDOT in securing an additional $10 million in federal dollars through MAG for the project.