The State Transportation board met last week for a work session. On that agenda included an update regarding the special event transportation plan for the Arizona Renaissance festival. Local residents of Gold Canyon, eastern Pinal County and Southern Gila County, had expressed concern to Steve Stratton who represents Pinal, Gila and Graham counties on the State Transportation Board that something needed to changed.
The success of the festival has at times created up to 11-mile back ups in the area.
“This traffic affects our communities and our events that occur during the festival season,” explained Mayor Al Gameros of Globe. He along with Superior, Mayor Mila Besich-Lira, attended the meeting to share their concerns on behalf of the communities east of the festival.
Randy Everett, District Administrator for ADOT shared the plan for the improved traffic flow. The proposed changes include dual right turn lanes in movements from Eastbound US 60 into the event grounds. Increasing the radius of Gate A to facilitate the entrance into the festival grounds and additional message boards will be added. Those attending the event from the east will enter the fair grounds through gate B, which will eliminate those coming from the east from having to merge with those coming from the west.
The next steps for the changes will be for the Renaissance to complete the permit application and for all parties to go over the changes. The Renaissance will need to construct the proposed changes and evaluation of the effectiveness of the improvements in April or May of 2018.
The Renaissance Festival begins on Feb. 10 and runs through April 1, 2018.