NewsNortheast Valley NewsScottsdale News


Residents call for extra route after deadly crash causes hour long delay

Posted at 6:21 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 16:57:21-05

A deadly accident involving a school bus in north Scottsdale is now sparking a debate over the need for an alternate route in the area.

The crash happened at 136th Street and Rio Verde Wednesday, shutting down the main thoroughfare for hours.

 It forced those who live there to take a 50-mile detour. 

"If there's any kind of accident or any kind of flooding that occurs on this road here, to go through the desert and get around the accident, it doesn't exist," said Paul Proctor.

Proctor says his community is fighting for an alternate route following the crash. 

He says any time Rio Verde is shut down east of Alma School Road, the thousands that call the sprawling desert communities home, are landlocked. 

"We're talking at least two to five times a year or more, and that's too much," said Proctor.

Here's the problem...the crash Wednesday shut down the corner of 136th Street and Rio Verde for six hours. Forcing those coming home to turn around head back to the Loop 101 and make their way through Fountain Hills.

Those stuck on the other side of the accident had to take the same detour in the opposite direction. 

"It's 51 miles and it was 75 minutes without traffic," said Feather Proctor.

"What would have happened if we needed emergency services for a child or a senior citizen, there would be no access," said Marie Hardenbrook.

They say as the population has continued to boom, the infrastructure isn't there to support it. 

"We haven't kept up with the times," said Vance Hardenbrook.

However, an alternate route may sound obvious but could be difficult as Rio Verde Road is sandwiched between mountains, washes and protected preserves. 

We reached out to Maricopa County who tells us the issue is on their radar. 

In fact, they're currently conducting a study to look at roadway connections and capacity in the area. 

"It's not just the inconvenience, it actually could be life or death, if it's flooding or it's an emergency we need to be able to get in our out," said Feather Proctor.

Residents and members of the public are encouraged to provide input to the study's project team by emailing or calling the MCDOT project line at 602-506-3342.