County handles many responsibilities in region - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

County handles many responsibilities in region

June 3rd, 2019 development
County handles many responsibilities in region

By Jack Sellers
Guest Writer

I don’t need to tell you that a dominant story of the Phoenix metropolitan area over the past decade has been the remarkable growth we’ve experienced in the East Valley.

This growth depends on infrastructure investments made by state, county, and municipal governments to keep us safe and to help maintain our quality of life

Flood Control projects

As the fastest growing county in the United States for three years in a row, we remain focused on prudent flood control infrastructure investments that will protect our citizens now and far into the future.

After a decade of drought, it would be easy to overlook the need for flood control planning. However, some storms in the past few years have reminded us how important it is to have a long-term plan.

In partnership with the federal government and the cities and towns of District 1, the Flood Control District invests in construction and maintenance of infrastructure that not only reduces the risks and impacts of flooding, but also supports economic development in a safe and responsible manner.

By doing so, we can minimize property damage, loss of life and requirements for costly flood insurance.

Wherever possible, flood control structures are designed to provide secondary benefits to the community.

We look for partnerships with cities and towns to create parks, trails and other recreational amenities that are co-located on flood control structures, utilizing infrastructure that is needed for flood control only during storm events.

Here are a few notable flood control projects happening in District 1 right now:

Detention Basin at East Park Sports Complex: in partnership with the Town of Queen Creek, a floodwater detention basin will be incorporated into the future East Park Sports Complex near Queen Creek and Signal Butte Roads.

Chandler Heights and Rittenhouse Basins: in partnership with the Town of Gilbert, these basins will be incorporated into the designs of the Gilbert Regional Park (near Ocotillo and Higley Roads) and the Rittenhouse District Park (near Power and Williams Field Roads).

Flood Control Dam Rehabilitations: in partnership with the US Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Guadalupe Dam (near Interstate 10 and Baseline Road) and the Powerline/Vineyard/Rittenhouse Dams (located in Pinal County but protecting Maricopa County downstream) will be rehabilitated to ensure they continue to provide flood protection into the next century.

You can learn more about flood control projects in District 1 by visiting

Transportation projects

The Maricopa County Department of Transportation is responsible for more than two-thousand miles of paved roads, approximately 400 miles of dirt roads, more than 400 bridges and culverts as well as close to 175 signalized intersections.

Riggs Road

As I have started my work with the County, I am impressed to see how the vital partnerships established between Maricopa County and the Towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek have played a key role in finishing the Riggs Road project.

At more than seven miles in length, the Riggs Road Corridor is one of MCDOT’s longest corridors, and includes new travel and turn lanes and traffic signals.

This widened and improved roadway will play an important role for travelers and economic growth in the southeast part of the County.

MCDOT designed the improvements for the entire corridor between Recker Road and Meridian Road. MCDOT also coordinated construction of most of the corridor and, in recent weeks, completed the improvements between Power Road and Hawes Road.

Queen Creek is coordinating construction from Crismon Road to Meridian Road with the completion scheduled for June. This is the essence of how we need to work together for the benefit of our citizens!

Roadway management

Keeping track of road conditions and maintenance records is a challenge faced by many transportation departments across the country.

  I am proud that Maricopa County has embraced that challenge by implementing a comprehensive database that gives MCDOT crews up-to-date information regarding signage, striping conditions and road ratings.

This allows the agency to make more informed and accurate decisions about roadway maintenance to protect taxpayer investments. Of course, we always appreciate your eyes and ears.

  To report potholes, street flooding, missing signs or other issues with County roads, contact 602-506-6063. For information on current projects, visit

My experience with state and local governments and agencies such as Maricopa Association of Governments and the State Transportation Board has taught me that good infrastructure is something we all work toward together by understanding that decisions we make now are critical for our economic future and will be felt deeply by our kids and grandkids.

I’m encouraged that Maricopa County is taking that long-term approach in considering how to spend taxpayer dollars.

– Jack Sellers is a Chandler resident and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors