The Town of Florence and Pinal County are teaming up to address traffic backups along Hunt Highway with a temporary traffic signal and widening the road to five lanes.
Coming first is a temporary traffic signal and left turn lane at Hunt and Arizona Farms Road, along with pavement preservation work. This will be near the northwestern edge of the town limits and ease traffic flow at a three-way intersection now controlled by a single stop sign, county public works spokesman Ray Telles said.
Southbound traffic on Hunt will have a left-turn lane onto Arizona Farms at the signal, along with greatly needed preservation treatments on the highway between Magma Road and Oasis Lane as well as on Arizona Farms Road east to the Union Pacific rail crossing.
Construction at the intersection is scheduled to begin June 4 and be completed by late July. Lane restrictions are planned, but no road closures are anticipated.
Pinal County has been widening segments of the highway within its jurisdiction from two to five lanes, starting from the Ellsworth Road intersection, over the past several years, with the final phase of the project extending from Magma to Oasis, a nearly 4-mile stretch where traffic regularly slows down at major traffic points.
Design of this project is ongoing, and in March the Town of Florence and the county agreed to extend this widening project for another 1.3 miles to Franklin Road within the town limits, where Florence Hospital is located and Hunt already has been widened into a four-lane divided highway with turn lanes. The rail crossing also will be widened and upgraded, with coordination with Union Pacific beginning in September.
Telles said the county is working to find the funding for the widening project while design continues, with a target design completion date of May 2024.