Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.
Work continues as follows:
- Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
- Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
- Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
- Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.
**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**
As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.
Events & Meetings
West-MEC Northwest Campus Groundbreaking
The Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) hosted a groundbreaking for their Northwest Campus located on Grand Avenue and Dysart Road on Thursday, October 6. West-MEC was created to help students find a faster way forward in life through career and technical education. West-MEC serves over 29,000 students within their 46 member district high schools. The graduation rate for students who complete a CTE program was 98% compared to 76% for all students in Arizona.
The Surprise campus will feature adaptable learning environments, global academic collisions, storm water movement, high efficient building systems, diverse programs and a reduction of the carbon footprint. Anticipated programs include cosmetology, IT security, law, public safety and security, medical assisting and additional health, physical therapy technician, automotive and industrial trades.
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I donated pizzas to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction team on Thursday, October 6 to show our gratitude for their continued hard work as they work diligently to complete the bridge construction so Bell Road can re-open on the anticipated target date of November 22, 2016.
Kingswood Place – City Update
City staff and I attended a meeting at Kingswood Place, a senior living community in Surprise, to provide a city update which included a summary of the Surprise Forward campaign and an economic development update. Thank you to the staff who attended!
Benevilla Retirement Celebration
Benevilla hosted a retirement celebration for Michelle Dionisio on Thursday, October 6 at Birt’s Bistro. Many business and community leaders from throughout the Valley attended the event including Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me. For more than 25 years, President and CEO Michelle Dionisio has served Benevilla and built it into the multigenerational non-profit organization it is today. She is a well-respected leader who has left an indelible mark not only in our city and the valley, but in our state.
Bell Road-Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting
City staff and representation from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted their monthly outreach meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, October 11. Economic Development provided an update on the Bell/Grand community outreach and education initiative. An employment workshop will be held on Monday, October 31 at the Communiversity followed by an employer workshop on Tuesday, November 1 and a career fair on November 2. More information will soon follow.
The Business Education Series will continue. The next event will be held on October 25 at the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. The topic is “How to grow your business by ensuring your customers are getting the right message.”
ADOT gave an update on the Phase 3C map and project activities. Currently, the project team is putting up street lights on the bride; paving activities on the ramps and bridge center will start this month and continue thru early November.
An overnight closure of Grand Ave between Dysart and Litchfield roads is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November (Friday 11/4 & Saturday 11/5) to place fencing and paint the bridge. Specific dates and activities will be sent in the ADOT project weekly update that precedes the closure.
When Bell Rd reopens on November 22, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017.
The designated detour route that reflects the opening of Bell Rd has been drafted and is under final review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Rd however drivers will need to use Bell-Reems/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.
Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.
The Business Stakeholder Meeting in November will be postponed to Tuesday, December 13 due to the November 8 Election Day.
Mark Your Calendar
Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration – This Weekend
The Surprise Fiesta Grande is here! The festivities are scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3 pm until 9 pm on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Admission and parking are free.
The line-up is as follows:
- 3 -3:15 p.m. – DJ/Opening Welcome
- 3:15-4 p.m. – Mariachi Los Caballeros
- 4:15-5 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico – Fiesta Mexicana Dance
- 5:15-6 p.m. – Mariachi Rubor
- 6:15-7 p.m. – Grupo Caribe
- 7:15-8 p.m. – Banada La Llegadora
- 8:15-9 p.m. – Powerdrive
We hope to see you there!
Surprise Veteran Job Club Meeting
The Surprise Veteran Job Club will host their next meeting on October 20 from 6 until 7:30 pm at the Surprise Resource Center located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to provide veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to pursue a new career or obtain a job.
Did You Know?
Surprise Police Explorer Wins Top Honors
Earlier this month, the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 competed in the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition which was held in Marana, Arizona. The post participated in over 15 different events which included: traffic stops, bus assaults, white collar crime investigations, officer down rescue, tactical tracking operations, and an active shooter scenario. They competed against posts from all across Arizona and California.
Explorer Post #2236 represented the Surprise Police Department and City of Surprise exceptionally well. The Explorer Post brought home seven trophies and one medal. The trophies/medal they received were:
- 3rd place in the team obstacle course (Medal)
- 2nd place in the use of force scenario
- 2nd place in white collar crime investigations
- 1st place in report writing and courtroom testimony
- 1st place in traffic stops
- 1st place in bus assaults
- 1st place overall
- The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition Cup for the overall best team at the competition
For more information about the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 please visit: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/1101/Explorers-Program.