Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.
- Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 30.
- Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
- Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.
City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.
For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Work Session
Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Update
The ramps connecting Grand Avenue to the Bell Road Bridge are set to reopen before the end of February! City staff reported to City Council, in Tuesday’s Work Session, that these improvements will result in driving pattern changes. The city has created a map to help you navigate the area and safely access the new connections.
The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:
- An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
- Traffic descending the westbound Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
- There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
- And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.
The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.
The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.
Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Update
Last December, the city entered into a multi-year membership and facility use agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce through June 30, 2019 which is funded annually subject to budget appropriations. As part of the membership agreement, regular updates to the City Council on the partnership, accomplishments and any upcoming programming was expected.
Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an overview of the City member benefits and Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Raoul Sada provided a year in review. The Chamber will have an Annual Meeting as part of their January breakfast meeting agenda next week and will discuss 2016 financials and the future for the Chamber which includes diversification of revenue stream (corporate income and contributions, fees for services, etc.) and the growth of the membership with approximately 75 new members and 17 new companies that have joined the Chairman Circle.
City Council Meeting
Nomination of Vice Mayor
The Surprise City Council selected District 6 Councilmember Todd Tande to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.
Tande was elected to City Council in the August 2013 election to serve an extended five-year term beginning January 2014.
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2016 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. While the outcome was positive, the city will continue to improve internal control policies.
Events & Meetings
MLK Jr. Day of Celebration & Service
The city, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 14. Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC 15 News Steve Irvin emceed the event and retired USAF Colonel Richard Toliver provided the uplifting keynote address. The spectacular event was quite motivating and even better was the opportunity to volunteer for community service projects afterwards. Approximately 350 people attended the programs and 300 volunteers, with a total of 600 unduplicated participants involved in the day’s festivities. Volunteers gave their time to 10 service projects.
Thank you to the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department, led by Seth Dyson, for their dedication and investment into this event which we certainly hope will become an annual event in Surprise! Thank you to the volunteers for serving and continuing to build a wonderful city! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Use me, God, show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
WESTMARC’s State of the State Luncheon
WESTMARC hosted a State of the State Luncheon on Tuesday, January 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. Governor Doug Ducey continues to emphasize education funding and increasing teachers’ salaries as well as increasing our education attainment rates with the “Achieve60AZ” education initiative. In addition to his commitment to cutting taxes, he briefly spoke about instituting a welfare provision.
Sun Village Lion’s Club
The Sun Village Lion’s Club invited me to speak to their membership during their meeting on Tuesday, January 17. I provided a city update on economic development and the Bell/Grand interchange project, as mentioned in this newsletter.
Mark Your Calendar
Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back
The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21 from 7-10 a.m. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.
During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.
Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10 a.m. or until the shred trucks have been filled up.
Surprise Pops Band Concert
The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.
Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.
Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting
The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.
Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.
Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!
Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX
Did You Know?
Board and Commission Openings
The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:
Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission 1 – vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.
For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.
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