A $4.5 million street improvement project on 20th Avenue will move forward after the Safford City Council agreed to fund an extra and unexpected $432,000.

The vast majority of the project, which will stretch from Relation Street to Golf Course Road, will be paid for by the Arizona Department of Transportation. However, ADOT recently informed the city the project’s funding requirement had been increased and the state would not be submitting any funding until the city could prove they have the funds for their share.

On Monday, the council unanimously agreed to move funds from the Water Enterprise Fund, which was partially funding the Carrasco Well Treatment Plant Project. Also, they moved money from the 10th Street extension project to cover the additional $432,000 needed.

Once completed, the project will include sidewalks on both sides of the street, four travel lanes, a middle turning lane, a storm drain, and a new water line below the street. The water line will be leading to a new pressure reducing station, Henrie said.

ADOT will be informed the city has the funds needed for the project and bidding will begin sometime afterward.

“It will be at least a month before it will be advertised for bidding, and then it will be advertised for at least two more months,” Henrie said.

Although the project is set to begin in June, Henrie is doubtful it will because projects which include ADOT take a fair amount of time, he said.

Once it starts, it will take months to complete, he said.

“It’s going to be pretty disruptive for upwards of nine months, which is my guess because of the extent that is going on there,” he said.

When the project was first planned, a traffic study showed there weren’t enough cars on 20th Avenue for traffic lights, however Henrie is fairly confident that has changed. Although there’s no money in the current project’s budget for such lights, he is making sure the intitial steps toward that goal are being taken.

“My suggestion is we get the road built and we could always budget it and put it in after. We’ll put the conduit in for the signal at Relation and conduit under Golf Course. Both intersections will be planned for it,” he said.

After the street is finished, Henrie said there will probably be another traffic study to ensure the traffic lights are warranted.

Although the 20th Avenue project timeline is uncertain, Henrie said a 14th Avenue repair project near the David M. Player Center for the Arts will begin June 1 and extend through the summer.

Because of the funding reallocation, Henrie said the 10th Street extension project will be postponed, Henrie said.

The Carrasco Well Treatement project has funding from another source, so it will continue without the funding from the city.

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