Saturday, January 08, 2005
Interchange planned at Loop 101, 64th Street By Garin Groff, Tribune Transportation planners are preparing to steer some traffic away from the congested Scottsdale Road interchange at Loop 101 with a new interchange a mile to the west. Construction will likely start next year on an interchange at 64th Street, which will serve a planned shopping center, offices and residences north of the Pima Freeway stretch of Loop 101. But drivers on Scottsdale will see benefits, too, said Dave Meinhart, Scottsdales transportation planning and transit director. "It will help take some of the pressure off Scottsdale Road by creating another place to get off for eastbound traffic that didnt necessarily need to go to the Scottsdale interchange," Meinhart said. The $16.6 million interchange wasnt built when the freeway came in because 64th Street stops at Bell Road, more than a mile south of Loop 101. But now, the timing is right to build the interchange and extend 64th, said David Richert, Phoenixs planning director. The new interchange and road will likely trigger development, including Paradise Ridge, a 134-acre shopping center planned north of Loop 101. The shopping center would be in Phoenix, but surrounding development and offices would prove a strong draw for Scottsdale residents. The interchange is still being planned and will likely open in two to three years. It would likely take several more years to complete all of 64th Street from Bell to north of the freeway. Richert said. The interchange is funded by Proposition 400, a $15.8 billion regional transportation plan voters approved Nov. 2.