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State Route 347 (SR 347), also known as John Wayne Parkway, is a 28.69 miles (46.17 km) long, north–south state highway in central Arizona. The route begins at SR 84 and heads north. It passes through Maricopa, meeting SR 238. The route ends at an interchange with Interstate 10 (I-10) south of Chandler. It primarily serves as the major road to Maricopa; much of the road lies within the Gila River Indian Community, with another short stretch through the Ak-Chin Indian Community. The road was built in the late 1930s and established as a state highway in the 1990s. On average, between 4,000 and 35,000 vehicles use the roadway daily.

State Route 347 marker

State Route 347
John Wayne Parkway
Maricopa Road
SR 347 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ADOT
Length28.69 mi[1] (46.17 km)
Existed1997–present
Major junctions
South end SR 84 near Stanfield
 
North end I-10 near Sun Lakes
Location
CountiesPinal, Maricopa
Highway system
  • Arizona State Highway System
Loop 303SR 360

Route descriptionEdit

The route begins at an intersection with SR 84 west of Stanfield.[2] SR 347 then heads northward as John Wayne Parkway, a four-lane expressway, through a desert landscape. After intersecting Meadowview Road and crossing a canal, SR 347 meets Carefree Place, where a farm appears to the west part of the road.[3] At Clayton Road, the east side of the road becomes farmland as well. John Wayne Parkway becomes Maricopa Road at Emerald Road and serves as the southwestern boundary of the Ak-Chin Indian Community between Emerald Road and Peters and Nall Road. At Peters and Nall Road it enters the reservation for 1 mile before become the dividing line at Steen Road between the City of Maricopa to the east and Ak-Chin to the west.[4] Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino and Ultrastar Entertainment Complex sit on the southwest corner of BIA Route 14 - also known as Farrell Rd - and John Wayne Parkway within the community.[5] Route 14 ends at SR 347 but continues west as Farrell Rd within the City of Maricopa. It's also at this point that road changes names back to John Wayne Parkway. The southernmost subdivision in Maricopa - Palo Brea - appears on the east side while the west side is a residential neighborhood on the reservation. Continuing on its northerly path, the road fully enters the City of Maricopa past Palo Brea where another subdivisions appears to the highway's west and the Copper Sky Recreational Complex appears on the east.[3] Past Bowlin road, subdivisions continue to dot the landscape with empty land near the highway zoned for future commercial use. The road then intersects Alterra Parkway/Desert Cedars Drive and Honeycutt Avenue before crossing a Union Pacific Rail Line on an overpass.

North of this overpass, SR 347 continues into the City's Heritage District, where some of the city's oldest homes and properties are located. It first intersects Honeycutt Road before having a partial interchange with Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. North of the road's intersection with Edison Road, SR 347 enters into a major commercial area where several businesses are located. SR 347 then serves as the eastern terminus for SR 238[6] also known as Mobile Road, which continues as Smith-Enke Road, a major east-west corridor for the City of Maricopa. The route then separates two major housing subdivisions before abruptly entering the Gila River Indian Community and empty desert.[3] Here the road drops it's John Wayne Parkway name and returns to Maricopa Road. The road turns more northeasterly, and serves as the western terminus for Casa Blanca Road.[7] Turning back north and slightly northeast again, the road crosses from Pinal County into Maricopa County.[8] After intersecting Riggs Road, Maricopa Road continues northeast to serve the Wild Horse Pass Casino while SR 347 bends directly east becoming Queen Creek Road. SR 347 ends at a diamond interchange at I-10, Exit 164, while Queen Creek Road continues east through the Gila River Indian Reservation towards the City of Chandler and Chandler Municipal Airport.[1][3]

The route is maintained by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which is responsible for maintaining highways in the state. As part of this role, the department periodically conducts surveys to measure traffic on highways in Arizona. These surveys are most often presented in the form of average annual daily traffic (AADT), which is the number of vehicles that use a highway on any average day during the year. In 2009, ADOT calculated that around 4,500 vehicles used the road daily near the SR 84 intersection and about 33,000 vehicles used the route near the I-10 interchange on an average day.[9] A 2018 report said traffic was 31,000 vehicles daily within Maricopa.[10] No part of the highway has been listed in the National Highway System, a system of roads in the United States important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility.[11][12]

HistoryEdit

The section north of Maricopa, toward present day I-10, was built by 1939. It was built upon the old Phoenix-Maricopa Railroad right of way after service was discontinued.[13] The road headed north toward Tempe to U.S. Route 80.[14] Between 1951 and 1958, the road was extended south to its current terminus at SR 84; at this time, I-10 had still not been built, nor had the route become a state highway.[15] By 1971, I-10 was finished through the south and east edges of the Phoenix area.[16] In 1989, ADOT made preparations to establish the number along Maricopa Road and reserved the right-of-way along the parkway.[17][18] This may have been because of a controversy over the name of John Wayne Parkway, which the road was dubbed at the time.[19][20] The Gila River Native Americans, whose reservation the parkway ran on, did not want this name, as John Wayne, the actor who formerly owned a ranch in modern Maricopa, had appeared in several movies in which he had killed Native Americans.[21][22] Maricopa Road was widened from a two-lane to a four-lane expressway in the early 1990s,[3] and was also realigned to use Queen Creek Road to meet I-10. In 1997, the route was officially established as a state highway with its current routing.[23][24]

In Maricopa, north of the road's intersection with Alterra Parkway/Desert Cedars Drive, the road previously ran alongside Maricopa High School to the west,[25] having a level crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad, and then having an at-grade intersection with Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. This railroad crossing caused traffic to stop for passing trains more than sixty times per day. A project to reroute the road slightly east over a new six-lane overpass began in 2018. The city of Maricopa hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new overpass on July 13th, 2019, and it was opened to traffic on July 15th, 2019.[26][27] $15 million in funding for the project was by the Federal Government's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program and $14 million by the city of Maricopa, Arizona.[10]

Junction listEdit

CountyLocationmi[1]kmDestinationsNotes
Pinal0.000.00  SR 84 – Stanfield, Casa Grande, Gila BendSouthern terminus
Maricopa12.5820.25Maricopa-Casa Grande HighwayPartial interchange; southbound entrance and exit only; northbound access via Honeycutt Road
13.6922.03  SR 238 west – Mobile
Maricopa28.6946.17  I-10 – Phoenix, TucsonNorthern terminus; I-10 exit 164; continues east as Queen Creek Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Arizona Department of Transportation. "2012 ADOT Highway Log" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  2. ^ Transportation District 4 Milepost System (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Google (2008-04-14). "overview map of SR 347" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  4. ^ "Planning Maricopa: Growth Area Element". City of Maricopa, AZ.
  5. ^ Ak-Chin Indian Community Directions (PDF) (Map). Ak-Chin Indian Community. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  6. ^ 2009 ADOT Map Book: Section 1 (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Gila River Districts (Map). Gila River Indian Community. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Transportation District 1 Milepost System (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Arizona Department of Transportation. "Arizona State Highway Traffic Log" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Construction on SR 347 bridge over train tracks to begin Monday". KTAR.com. March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  11. ^ National Highway System: Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  12. ^ National Highway System (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  13. ^ "The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad". Abandoned Rails.
  14. ^ Road Map of Arizona (Map). Arizona Highway Department. 1939. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  15. ^ Road Map of Arizona (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. Arizona State Highway Department. 1958. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  16. ^ Road Map of Arizona (Map). Arizona State Highway Department. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Arizona Department of Transportation. "ADOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1989-04-A-032". Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  18. ^ New Deluxe Road Atlas (Map). H.M. Gousha. 1993. pp. 10–11. § G4–H5. ISBN 0-13-616129-4.
  19. ^ "Tribes, County Clash Over Naming Highway After John Wayne". The Ojibwe News. June 13, 1997. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "John Wayne Road Name Creates Stir with Indians". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 7, 1997. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  21. ^ "Disputed John Wayne Parkway Might End up as Arizona 347". The Ojibwe News. July 4, 1997. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  22. ^ "John Wayne? American Indians? State Solves Road-Name Debate". Rocky Mountain News. June 28, 1997. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  23. ^ Arizona Department of Transportation. "ADOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1997-05-A-031" (PDF). Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  24. ^ ADOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1997-05-A-031 Map (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  25. ^ Maricopa Unified School District. "Maricopa Unified School District Schools". Archived from the original on December 27, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  26. ^ "Overpass Update - Traffic to Use Overpass on July 15th". City of Maricopa, AZ.
  27. ^ "Overpass Tracker". City of Maricopa. City of Maricopa. Retrieved July 15, 2019.

External linksEdit