City officials and landowners were on the road again Tuesday, symbolically marking the beginning of the Laughlin Ranch Boulevard extension to Highway 95.
“This is a 12-year-old dream of mine, finally getting done,” said Laughlin Ranch developer David Lords.
Calling it the epitome of a public/private partnership, completion of the 1 1/2-mile roadway extension will offer area residents another east/west corridor connecting Bullhead Parkway and Highway 95.
“Our town is growing,” said Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady. “This public/private partnership benefits the community and the city at a minimal amount of money needed if the city had tried to do it alone.”
City Manager Toby Cotter agreed.
“In reality, without this public/private partnership, we couldn't’t have done this project,” he said. “We’re thankful a private developer has stepped forward.”
The project will cost roughly $4.5 million, with the city’s share in the $1.5 million range, city officials said.
“I think Bullhead City needs major changes on routes,” said City Council member Sheila Shutts. “The way we’re sitting right now, it’s not easy to do — we’re going to be looking at it over the next six months to a year. This is just the beginning.”
Council members ratified the Laughlin Ranch Boulevard Improvement District in November and awarded the $3.6 million construction contract to McCormick Construction Company to deliver the improvement district development, including construction of the roadway, which reaches to Section 12 off Highway 95, at Community Park. Project financing is through the creation of the LRBID, whose residents pay taxes for the district and through the sale of bonds, which took place in November.
“The community gets the benefits without paying the taxes,” Lords said. “Only people living in the LRBID pay the taxes.”
The roadway extension opens roughly 200 acres for commercial expansion, including industry, office and retail, Lords said.
“We get to open this corridor for the community and hopefully attract more companies like Dot Foods, which has been a blessing for the area,” he said.
There are three major and several minor benefits to the community as a result of the project, said Bob Leuck, Bullhead City assistant public works director.
“The extension will provide a major east/west corridor for the community that will improve traffic circulation,” Leuck said. “It also opens up several hundred acres for commercial development and, from an emergency response standpoint, will offer direct access to Highway 95 without having to drive all the way around.”
Water retention basins being built as part of the project also will help storm water drainage in the area, Leuck said.
“It’s a minor but very helpful benefit,” he said.
Construction of the road includes full utilities, such as water, sewer and gas, Lords said. The road will initially be built with two lanes and a landscaped median, with the ability to expand to four lanes.
“The utilities will also serve facilities at the park,” he said.
The road is expected to be completed June 30.
“It’s exciting — I live in the area up here,” said City Council member Kathy Bruck. “To be able to get down to Highway 95, right near the Chamber of Commerce without having to go north or south — it will be a great change. And with Dot Foods coming in and now all this, I think the whole area is going to go crazy.”