Road decision was pandering
“There they go again.” The part-time Yuma County Board of Supervisors pandered, again, to the special interest group living east and west of Araby Road north of Interstate I-8 when they voted to select 3E as the official connection between I-8 and Arizona Route 95.
This planning process has been ongoing for many years since the Area Service Highway (ASH) was completed and the residents north of I-8 became convinced that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of trucks from Mexico would travel Araby Road on their way to Quartzsite and possibly Canada. Possibly, that public concern has influenced the Arizona Transportation Board to omit Yuma from their meetings.
Alas, the ASH was to be a limited access freeway from the border and was to be constructed initially as a two-lane road. At the beginning, there was a proposal to construct a railroad spur down the center of the future median to serve the manufacturing to be located south of the border. The manufacturing south of the border represented “the great sucking sound” phrase coined by H. Ross Perot when he ran for president in 1992 and 1996.
Prior to the ASH being constructed, there was a second “great sucking sound” that sent the Mexican jobs to Asia.
Now the ASH begins on a San Luis street leading from the border and has an at-grade intersection at County 40th Street. Mexican truck traffic volumes are so low that no improvements were required at the Araby/I-8 interchange.
The decision to “pander” comes with financial consequences. The existing Arizona Route 95 between I-8 and 3E will be turned over to the city of Yuma for maintenance like 4th Avenue and 32nd Street. The city has no funds to complete the 32nd Street project with the “bridge to nowhere” but will pay the long-term costs to “pander.”
The supervisors are up for election and there is an opportunity to avoid recall petitions by voting out Greg Ferguson, Russell McCloud and Tony Reyes.
Next year there will be an opportunity to replace four members of the Yuma City Council.