The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lower Sonoran Field Office received an application from the City of Goodyear for a 250-foot right-of-way (ROW) to construct, operate, and maintain a two to six-lane parkway in Rainbow Valley, Arizona. The proposed parkway originates on Rainbow Valley Road and Riggs Road at the southern end of Goodyear and proceeds southwest to intersect with State Route (SR) 238 in Mobile, Arizona. The Sonoran Valley Parkway has been identified on regional transportation plans to meet future traffic demand resulting from population growth in the Rainbow Valley southwest of Phoenix. To assist the decision-maker in determining whether to grant the ROW, the BLM is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this proposed project. The EIS is a comprehensive analysis of existing conditions and environmental impacts to resources such as air quality, water, geology, wildlife and vegetation, cultural resources, visual resources, land use, recreation, and socioeconomics.
The Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in the Federal Register on Friday, July 19, 2013. This initiated a 45-day comment period that ran from July 19, 2013, through September 20, 2013 and was extended to September 20. Comments were submitted several different ways including:
|Via email:||BLM_AZ_SVPP@blm.gov |
|U.S. Mail:||Attn: Benedict Parsons, Project Manager |
Sonoran Valley Parkway Project
Bureau of Land Management
Lower Sonoran Field Office
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
Alternative A (BLM preferred Alternative) – Approximately 15.72 miles long, starts at Riggs Road heading south for approximately 2.5 miles along Rainbow Valley Road to Komatke, then southeast paralleling the Sonoran Desert National Monument boundary for 10.4 miles to intersect in Mobile at SR 238.
Alternative C – Approximately 18.2 miles long, starts at Riggs Road heading south for approximately 1.8 miles along Rainbow Valley Road before turning directly east along Patterson Road for 4 miles, then proceeds south on Bullard Avenue for 3 miles before turning east-southeast for 5.36 miles to intersect in Mobile at SR 238.
Alternative H – Approximately 18.3 miles long, starts at Riggs Road heading south for approximately 1.8 miles along Rainbow Valley Road before turning directly east along Patterson Road for approximately 5 miles, before turning directly south along Litchfield Road to the Sonoran Desert National Monument boundary and turning east-southeast for approximately 10 miles to intersect in Mobile at SR 238.
Sub-Alternatives F and G (BLM Preferred Sub-Alternative) – Approximately 3.2 and 2.4 miles long, respectively. These were developed to avoid a historic homestead site near the proposed alignment in Mobile at SR 238.
The Parkway Concept
The parkway is a road concept that is identified in regional transportation planning documents to meet the need for non-freeway roads. Benefits of parkways include:
- Greater travel capacity
- Fewer curves and turns
- Faster speeds
- Widely spaced traffic interchanges and turn lanes
- Less traffic conflict and increased road safety
- May be designed to accommodate future transportation connections
Where are we now in the Process?
- Goodyear and its contractors have gathered resource data.
- BLM and its cooperating agencies have reviewed the alternative parkway alignments and identified the BLM-Preferred Alternative and Sub-Alternative in the Draft EIS.
- The Draft EIS public comment period was from July 19th to September 20th, 2013.
- BLM is revising the Final EIS per the substantive public and agency comments.
- Publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register for the Final EIS in Summer 2014.
- Initiation of a 30-day availability period, during which the public has the opportunity to provide comments on the Final EIS.
- File the Final EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Publication of the Final EIS in Summer 2014.
- Record of Decision issued in late Summer 2014.
To Learn More
Benedict Parsons, BLM Project Manager
BLM Phoenix District Office
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027