City of El MirageGlendale, AZCity of PeoriaMaricopa County

Northern Parkway Program
Loop 303 to US 60 (Grand Avenue)

Program Overview

A Transportation partnership of El Mirage, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa County
and the Maricopa Association of Governments.

The future 12.5 mile segment of Northern Parkway, located in northwestern Maricopa County, Arizona (Supervisory District 4-Max W. Wilson), extends between Loop 303 and US 60 (Grand Avenue).  The new transportation facility will be a high capacity, limited access roadway with overpasses at major intersections. The parkway will traverse along the current Butler Drive alignment between Loop 303 and Litchfield Road. North of Luke Air Force Base (LAFB), the parkway swings southeasterly to the Northern Avenue alignment at Dysart Road and continues along this alignment to US 60 (Grand Avenue) through the jurisdictions of El Mirage, Glendale, Peoria and Maricopa County.

Key Parkway Features

  • The future Northern Parkway ultimate configuration will generally consist of six through lanes (three travel lanes in each direction with a raised center median). (The parkway is expected to accommodate Year 2030 traffic forecasts of 86,000 vehicles per day, with traffic exceeding 100,000 per day in some areas.)
  • Grade-separated overpasses will enhance traffic flow at major arterial intersections, including Sarival Avenue, Reems Road, Litchfield Road, Dysart Road, El Mirage Road, 93rd Avenue (west ramps), 91st Avenue (east ramps), 83rd Avenue and 75th Avenue. A grade-separated underpass will be constructed at the intersection of 103rd Avenue.
  • Overpasses will also cross over the BNSF Railway at 143rd Avenue, 99th Avenue and 97th Avenue. Major bridges will cross the Agua Fria River, New River, US 60/Grand Avenue, BNSF Railroad and a bypass bridge will cross over Loop101.
  • Northern Parkway will be fully access controlled between Loop 303 and 115th Avenue to enhance traffic safety, efficiency and overall roadway operation. ITS (Intelligent Transportation system) traffic management technologies will be implemented along the corridor and provide “real time” traffic management to improve traffic flow and reduce traveler delay and traffic congestion.
  • The Northern Parkway Program includes the construction of an important component of the regional Loop 303 Corridor/White Tanks Area Drainage Master Plan Update. A drainage channel will be constructed along the northern side of the parkway to intercept offsite storm water flows and convey this runoff through other flood control facilities to the Agua Fria River. The Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC) is a project partner helping to fund the components of this flood control system.
  • To accommodate operational and security requirements in the vicinity of LAFB, the Butler Drive alignment was purposefully selected to move Northern Parkway away from the north end of LAFB runways and the overpass at Litchfield Road was designed below ground level to reduce the height of the bridge structure in the west end of the parkway corridor.
Litchfield Road Work

Litchfield Road Work

Contractor placing pavement as part of the reconstruction of Litchfield Road

Stakeholders

  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Maricopa County Department of Transportation
  • City of El Mirage
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Peoria
  • Maricopa Association of Governments
  • Flood Control District of Maricopa County
  • Luke Air Force Base
  • Impacted Businesses, Property Owners and Residents
  • Area Developers
  • Impacted Utilities

Northern Parkway Program Partnerships

The Northern Parkway Program is a multi-agency project. The City of El Mirage, the City of Glendale, the City of Peoria, and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) are project funding partners.  In addition to having a financial role in the project, the partner agencies all have jurisdiction along the proposed route, and had primary roles in developing the Northern Parkway design concept.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors recognized Northern Parkway as a worthy regional transportation project and realized the socioeconomic benefits to the surrounding communities.  In December 2008, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved MCDOT's involvement as a funding partner and designation as Lead Agency for future phases of project delivery for the design and construction of the Northern Parkway Program.

Executive Committee Management Team
In December 2008, the Northern Parkway Program participants came together under an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and designated MCDOT as the Lead Agency for future program development and implementation. The IGA established an eight-member Executive Committee consisting of four voting members, each representing and appointed by one of the four partner jurisdictions (El Mirage, Glendale, Peoria and Maricopa County), and four non-voting members each representing and appointed by agency stakeholders ADOT, MAG, LAFB, and FCDMC. According to the terms set forth in the IGA, each member entity also appointed alternates to ensure the representation of each member entity at all Executive Committee meetings. The Management Team is comprised of the MCDOT Program Director and senior technical staff from MCDOT and a project management consultant firm. The Management Team has the responsibility for carrying out the day-to-day operations required of MCDOT to maintain program coordination and progress in the design and construction of the Northern Parkway Program.

Northern Parkway Program Organization Chart

Program Development

Inception to Implementation

In 2001, the City of Glendale’s Transportation Plan was updated with the assistance of a 61-member committee known as the Citizens Advisory Committee for Transportation Issues (CACTI). This group envisioned the need for a regional east/west  route west of I-17 in the vicinity of Northern Avenue to improve regional West Valley connectivity between major roadways such as Loop 303, Loop 101 and US 60 (Grand Avenue) through the cities of El Mirage, Glendale, Peoria, as well as  areas of unincorporated County and western Phoenix.

The idea was subsequently adopted in Glendale’s Transportation Plan and in November 2001, the city passed a half-cent sales tax to fund a variety of transportation projects derived from this plan, including matching funds for a “super street” at Northern Avenue.

The comprehensive Northern Parkway Program concept was initially conceived by a multi-agency transportation task force consisting of representatives of El Mirage, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC), the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Maricopa County Association of Governments (MAG) and Luke Air Force Base (LAFB). It was further developed in the Northern Parkway Design Concept Report (October 2003).

In November 2003, MAG adopted the Northern Parkway concept recommended in the 2003 Design Concept Report, and included the parkway in its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The following year, the parkway was adopted by Maricopa County and included in MCDOT’s Major Streets and Routes Plan. Proposition 400, the extension of the countywide half-cent sales tax, was passed by voters in November 2004 and provided the regional funding source for the design and construction of the future Northern Parkway.

The City of Glendale then took the lead in developing the design concept and preparing the environmental documents. A Draft Design Concept Report was issued by the City of Glendale in July 2008 and the Draft Environmental Assessment was issued in September 2009. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) In May 2010.

Pursuant to the intergovernmental agreement approved by the Northern Parkway  Program partner agencies in December 2008, MCDOT is leading final design efforts and is managing construction of the Northern Parkway between Loop 303 and US 60 (Grand Avenue).

BNSF Railroad

BNSF Railroad

Under view of BNSF Railroad overpass structures with all girders placed

Northern Parkway Reports & Documents

  1. Five-year Life Cycle
  2. Design Concept Report
    • Report
    • Alternative 1 (71.7 MB)
    • Alternative 2 (3.6 MB)
    • Alternative 3 (11.8 MB)
  3. Environmental Reports
  4. Ultimate Parkway Cross-Section

Cost & Funding

The majority of funding for the Northern Parkway (70%) will come from regional sources, primarily Federal Surface Transportation Program funds (STP) allocated via the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to the Maricopa County region. The remaining 30% will be borne by the partners in the following proportions,

  • El Mirage — 10%
  • Glendale — 40%
  • Peoria — 20%
  • MCDOT — 30%

Pursuant to the IGA, $315.8 million is budgeted for the Northern Parkway based on the MAG Regional Transportation Plan. This represents roughly half of the total projected cost of $612.6 million.