PROJECT WEBSITE: https://highways.dot.gov/federal-lands/projects/az/apache-trail
All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING STATUS
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING
The Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the United States Forest Service, Tonto National Forest (TNF), has been planning roadway improvements to 11.20 miles of State Route (SR) 88, the Apache Trail, between mileposts (MP) 229.20 and 240.60, Maricopa County, Arizona. The project is located on TNF lands and an ADOT easement crossing TNF lands. Recent disaster events have resulted in significant damage to this roadway facility and require that the project design and coordination efforts be reinitiated to account for changes to the projects design approach and repair philosophy. Funding for the project is through the Federal Lands Access Program, in conjunction with a local funding match as well as supplemental funding from the Emergency Relief Program as detailed below.
The Apache Trail is a 42-mile, winding historic road that links Apache Junction with Roosevelt Lake through the Superstition Mountains and TNF. The Apache Trail is paved from Apache Junction to approximately MP 220, while the remainder of the road is unpaved until just west of Theodore Roosevelt Dam and the junction of Apache Trail and SR 188. The proposed improvements would begin at MP 229.2 and extend approximately 11.12 miles east-northeast to MP 240.6. Within the project limits, the roadway surface consists of decomposed granite (DG), which requires frequent blading to maintain an effective surface. Contractor staging and use areas are proposed to occur within the ADOT right of way or in previously disturbed areas.
On June 8, 2019, the human-caused Woodbury Fire began in the Superstition Wilderness near the Woodbury Trailhead. This Forest Service land is full of rugged terrain with virtually no access which limited the ability of firefighters to safely confront the fire on land. Over the course of the summer, the fire grew burning a total of 123,875 acres. Within Tonto National Monument, 88% (989 acres) of the land was burned. Although previous fires had burned small sections of the Monument, this was the largest in recorded history. Large and severe wildfires present a major threat to watershed health, because they can impair watershed condition, alter hydrologic and geomorphic processes, and ultimately degrade water quality. Wildfires can lead to changes in flow regimes, flood frequency, erosion, and debris flows. Wildfires can also lead to significant changes in stream water chemistry, and post-fire sediment-driven transport can lead to increases in contaminant loads. The historic woodbury fire reached full containment in the summer of 2019. However, on September 23, 2019 and November 19, 2019 severe thunderstorms originating from the remnants of Tropical Storms Lorena and Raymond respectively moved over the project area for the Apache Trail project. Excessive rainfall over this denuded and degraded watershed resulted in significant flooding of the Apache Trail roadway. Much of the roadways drainage features, many which were historic character defining features for the Apache Trail (SR 88), were damaged or destroyed.
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The permitting timetable below displays data as reported by agencies. Dates for Environmental Review and Permitting processes (Actions) that are in 'Paused' or 'Planned' status are subject to change and are not indicative of a project's final schedule.
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