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Speed of Forest Road work shows efficiency of Sedona in Motion

Like everyone in Sedona, we are impressed with the speed of construction on the forest road extension. City staff and contractor Fann Contracting Inc. began road work in spring 2022. Much of his first year's work involved moving utilities and clearing upstream areas, activities that most residents didn't or couldn't see on the bluffs overlooking Route 89A. I was there.

Dalton Bengler/Larson Newspaper

But over the past six months, work has progressed like a riot, as the city and contractors worked with the Sedona Fire District to use explosives to break up and move the rock. Crews have been working hard day and night for the past few months, literally moving mountains and building roads.

David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

The area's parcels were privately owned, but the extremely rugged terrain makes it nearly impossible to build much of anything without significant engineering feats and multimillion-dollar works to enhance the area. It's impossible. Without engineering marvels like Glendon Good's cliffside home and studio off Upper Red Rock Loop Road, there's a good chance nothing would ever be built on those sites. It is made more believable by the simple fact that nothing has been built there for years.

To build the road, the city of Sedona has wisely purchased rights-of-way over the past few years, weaving trails from forest roads down to SR 89A along relatively gentle-looking roads, similar to the one at Hyatt Piñon Point. did. To the east.

Dalton Bengler/Larson Newspaper

Once this expansion is complete, Uptown drivers will be able to bypass the “Y” roundabout both outside of Uptown and from Forest Road south past the Hyatt to along all roads in Uptown. You'll have faster access to state highways further west than if you had to travel. Vehicles that do not intend to head west and instead wish to turn south onto Route 179, or vehicles that must enter the “Y” through the Hyatt's narrow private parking lot and also take Brewer Road roundabout. .

This bypass allows uptown drivers to skip both roundabouts and avoid southbound traffic.

On the eastbound side, the extension will also alleviate some of the congestion caused by drivers attempting to pass through the “Y” roundabout by turning around at the Brewer Road roundabout and heading up the hill.

For those of us who work or live in Uptown, this bypass would be a huge improvement, allowing southbound traffic to pass through both roundabouts and exit the Uptown area onto Route 89A. You will be able to do it. And when uptown workers just want to get out and get home, they can get out of municipal parking lots and other parking lots instead of battling traffic on I-179 southbound from I-89. There are also back roads available.

We sincerely hope that the new road can open on schedule without any unforeseen delays due to weather or large boulders requiring explosives.

We commend city staff and contractors who worked efficiently and quickly to remove this lower section. The speed of the work and the extent of the mountain removal, clearly visible to residents passing by, has given residents who lament the government's slow pace the promise of a major capital project if the government and the private sector are united in the vision of achieving the goal. This shows that the process can be completed quickly. end.

Rendering of the completed road from the City of Sedona's May 2019 agenda. In the final plan, the connection to State Route 89A was moved further west.

New lanes and new roads always improve traffic flow and we are confident that this new expansion will prove that in time.

The only downside at the moment is that once the road is completed, it will likely be called a “forest road” given that it doesn't deviate. This will cause confusion for drivers coming from west Sedona. They may be told to go to a “forest road” and not know if that means an extension or an old road uptown. Similarly, new residents can use only forest road extensions and be directed from that point to other destinations.

The forest road at the Intersection of State Route 89A is physically located in two locations, which may impede initial response.

To avoid confusion, I offer the following modest suggestion:

Rename the extension to “Osburn Way.”

It seems appropriate to name this road after current Sedona City Administrator Karen Osburn, who has served the Sedona community for many years as City Administrator and previously as Finance Director for the Sedona Fire District. Masu. She is the only official to have served so extensively in both government agencies. Considering that both agencies were involved in the laying of the road, it is fitting and appropriate to bestow this title on her.

As Ms. Osburn is scheduled to leave the city of Sedona in April, this would be a permanent recognition of her contributions to the city and a fitting stamp on her legacy. We are not stuck in the 'Osburn Way'. The city could use parkways, boulevards, roads, and streets instead.

We name our city's roads after various notable residents who once lived on or near these roads, including Cheveley Hill Road, Sea Birch Memorial Highway, Owenby Way and Jordan Road. Masu. Considering this is a new road, it would be fitting to name it after a new generation of Sedona leaders. Changing the name would reduce confusion and honor one of the local leaders.

christopher fox graham

Editor-in-chief

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