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Whispering Ranch Access Corridor Improvement Study

The Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is conducting a planning study of the Whispering Ranch access corridor, from the Vulture Mine Road/Whispering Ranch Road intersection to the Patton Road/US 60 intersection through the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.

Study Overview

Thank you for your interest in MCDOT’s Whispering Ranch Access Corridor Improvement Study.

The purpose of this planning study is to identify a corridor that provides all-weather access from the Vulture Mine Road/Whispering Ranch Road intersection to the Patton Road/US 60 intersection, through the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.

During large storm events, flooding through the study corridor can make the area difficult to access due to restrictions and/or closures at existing roadway dip drainage crossings, especially within the limits of the Hassayampa River crossing. Additionally, the continued growth in the area and access concerns for emergency vehicles during flood events establishes a need for an all-weather access.

This study will provide the following outcomes:

  • Preferred Alternative for an all-weather access corridor through the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.
  • Recommendations for a new Hassayampa River crossing along the existing Patton Road.

We invite you to review our preliminary research for this study. Please use the form or contact information below to provide your feedback about the draft Candidate Alternatives of the Whispering Ranch access corridor. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Study Timeline

Study Area

Study Area

Study Area

Questions? We want your input.

To leave your comments about the draft Candidate Alternatives of the Whispering Ranch access corridor, please contact MCDOT Senior Planner Angela Horn via email or at (602) 506-4176. You may also submit your comments electronically.

Candidate Alternatives Information

The existing and future conditions analysis was used as a basis for developing Conceptual Alternatives along the study corridor.

  • Six Conceptual Alternatives were developed for the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.
  • Alternatives at the Hassayampa River crossing are still under development considering evaluation of historic flows.
  • East of the Hassayampa River it is anticipated that Patton Road will generally remain in its existing alignment. The Existing and Future Conditions Technical Memorandum was used to identify locations along Patton Road that warrant further investigation for drainage crossing improvements.

Based on the opportunities and constraints along each Conceptual Alternative, the following three Conceptual Alternatives and a no-build have been selected as Candidate Alternatives for further evaluation within the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.

  • Alternative 2 (11.3 miles)

    The proposed roadway alignment from east to west generally follows the existing alignments of Patton Road/299th Avenue/Painted Wagon Trail/Vulture Mine Road.

    Opportunities

    • Most direct horizontal alignment
    • Avoids existing overhead utilities along Dove Valley Road

    Constraints

    • Mid-section E/W alignment from 307th Avenue to Vulture Mine Road may be difficult to preserve right-of-way/alignment
    • Proposed alignment ties into Vulture Mine Road at a new 90-degree intersection
  • Alternative 5 (11.4 miles)

    The proposed roadway alignment from east to west generally follows the existing alignments of Patton Road/299th Avenue/Dixileta Drive/315th Avenue/ Dove Valley Road /355th Avenue /Vulture Mine Road.

    Opportunities

    • The proposed alignment ties into the existing Whispering Ranch Road/Vulture Mine Road intersection with an improved 90-degree intersection

    Constraints

    • Southern alignment that does not does not cover as much area as some of the other alignments
    • Existing overhead transmission power line corridor along Dove Valley Road, south of the proposed alignment
    • Proposed alignment ties into Vulture Mine Road at a new 90-degree intersection
  • Alternative 6 (11.4 miles)

    The proposed roadway alignment from east to west generally follows the existing alignments of Patton Road/299th Avenue/Peak View Road/307th Avenue/Dove Valley Road/355th Avenue/Vulture Mine Road.

    Opportunities

    • Proposed alignment ties into the existing Whispering Ranch Road/Vulture Mine Road intersection with an improved 90-degree intersection
    • Potential to utilize existing pavement along Peak View Road
    • Potential to utilize existing right-of-way along Peak View Road (307th Avenue to 299th Avenue)

    Constraints

    • Existing overhead transmission power line corridor along Dove Valley Road, south of the proposed alignment
    • Existing utilities present along Peak View Road and 307th Avenue
  • No-build

    Existing conditions to remain.

    Opportunities

    • No cost/funding required

    Constraints

    • Does not provide an all-weather corridor from the Vulture Mine Road/Whispering Ranch Road intersection to the Patton Road/US 60

Study Alternatives

Candidate Alternatives Evaluation

The study is currently in the alternatives evaluation stage for the four Candidate Alternatives identified above for the Whispering Ranch Subdivision. Evaluation criteria and evaluation matrix comparing the four Candidate Alternatives within the subdivision have been developed and can be found here.

Based on the evaluation findings and public input, a Preferred Alternative will be selected. We appreciate your interest and would like to hear from you about the draft Candidate Alternatives for the Whispering Ranch access corridor.

Existing Conditions

In studying the Whispering Ranch Access corridor, the project team has considered the following:

  • Patton Road, 299th Avenue, Peak View Road, and Vulture Mine Road are two-lane paved roadways.
  • Patton Road right-of-way is sporadic with areas of private and State Trust Land ownership within the roadway alignment.
  • Patton Road crosses the Central Arizona Project (CAP)/Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct and the Hassayampa River.
  • Whispering Ranch Road and the existing roadway network within the Whispering Ranch Subdivision are unpaved dirt roadways.
  • The Whispering Ranch Subdivision roadway network is a private right-of-way.
  • Vulture Mine Road and Whispering Ranch Road rights-of-way are publicly owned and granted from Bureau of Land Management.
  • The study area is located in an unincorporated area of Maricopa County.
  • Land ownership within the subdivision is private, characterized by scattered single family low density residential development.
  • There are few developing residential land uses along Patton Road.
  • Toyota Proving Grounds and Ford Proving Grounds are two major employers.
  • There are three school districts within the study area: Wickenburg Unified School District, Morristown Elementary School District, and Nadaburg Unified School District. Wickenburg Unified School District provides bus service within the study area.
  • Potential future land uses include increased residential and commercial development. There are currently several developments in various stages of approval.
  • Utilities in the area include overhead power and transmission lines, telephone, communication, water, gas, and private well sites.
  • The Hassayampa River, bordering the subdivision on its east side, crosses Patton Road and causes the majority of flooding events.
  • Numerous existing washes cross the unpaved roadways within the Whispering Ranch Subdivision.
  • Drainage consideration will include evaluation of the numerous flow concentration points identified within the Whispering Ranch Subdivision and along Patton Road (including the Hassayampa River crossing).
  • The project has a low potential to have adverse impacts on eligible archaeological sites and historic structures, districts, and buildings.
  • At this level of planning, total project impacts to all biological resources in and adjacent to the study area are unknown.
  • Vulture Mine Recreation Management Zone is the only Section 4(f) property within the study area.
  • There are no Section 6(f) properties within the study area.
  • Based on current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) guidelines and procedures, it is unlikely that the numerous named and unnamed ephemeral washes in the study area would be considered Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS).
  • The multiple Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) registered sites would not pose a concern to the study area due to their regulatory status and distance from the project area.
  • During future phases of scoping and design further environmental analysis and determination of potential mitigation measures will be warranted before project construction can proceed.