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Council split on new intersection

Sedona Red Rock News of Sedona, Arizona

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It's rare when a consent item on a Sedona City Council agenda becomes one of the most discussed topics of the night.

During the Oct. 27 meeting, the awarding of a construction contract for intersection work at Navoti Drive and Calle Del Sol was pulled for discussion and not only lasted 25 minutes but ended in a split vote.

The intersection is located off State Route 89A, across from Juniper Drive, in West Sedona. The project calls for Navoti Drive to be extended into Calle Del Sol. But, the proposal has been met with opposition from some residents who wanted the street to remain a dead end. However, according to City Manager Justin Clifton, making it a through street has been the plan all along and is important for neighborhood connectivity.

"It's been a focus on the transportation section of the Community Plan that not only notes the challenges of the lack of connections but suggests they ought to be made when possible for more convenient access," he said.

Councilman John Martinez, who along with Vice Mayor Mark DiNunzio opposed the project, said one of his concerns is for those coming out of that intersection while attempting to turn left onto State Route 89A. He said while the posted speed limit is 35 mph, drivers are going much faster in that part of town.

The Cor D'Amor subdivision was approved by council in February 2006. According to a city report, at that time, Calle Del Sol was a private road, and the city was in negotiations to obtain a portion of the road as public right-of-way. The developer of Cor D'Amor entered into an agreement with the city, stating that if the city obtained the necessary dedication prior to construction of Navoti Drive, then the developer would be responsible for the construction of the extension of Navoti Drive to Calle Del Sol. However, the city did not obtain the Calle Del Sol right-of-way until June 2007 for $85,000, and is therefore responsible for making the connection.

The city selected Southwestern Environmental Consultants to complete the design of this project. The initial concept was a mini-roundabout intersection. City staff held a public outreach meeting on July 6, where the project design concept was discussed. Residents from the vicinity of the project expressed they were more interested in a T-intersec-tion as opposed to a roundabout. Staff agreed with the T-intersection being a more appropriate fit for this location and proceeded to complete the design based on this concept, Clifton said.

Council approved Banicki Construction Inc. to complete this project based on their expertise and work on the Uptown paving proj ect.

This project was budgeted for this fiscal year and next. Of the original $300,000 budget, approximately $35,000 was spent on design. The construction contract amount of $ 153,110 contemplates completing the project approximately $112,000 under budget.

Construction is expected to start later this month and be completed by the first of the year.

"The off-highway road connection has been an important component of the city's planning efforts since the 1990s," Community Development Director Audree Juhlin said. "Wherever we can get connections from one subdivision to another, where you don't have to enter onto 89A, that's very desirable."

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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