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It’s East Valley Déjà Vu – Surprise Development Could Mimic Loop 202 Impact on Gilbert and Mesa

By Jeff Grant for Independent Newsmedia, Inc., USA

Original headline: Expanded Loop 303 Leaves Surprise Ripe for Growth

Construction crews work this summer on the Waddell Avenue overpass along the expanded Loop 303 in Surprise. Workers are laying down the final portions of rubberized asphalt along the highway’s northbound lanes in the city of Surprise, which will complete the expansion in Surprise. Photo Credit: Jeff Grant / Independent Newsmedia, Inc., USA

Construction crews work this summer on the Waddell Avenue overpass along the expanded Loop 303 in Surprise. Workers are laying down the final portions of rubberized asphalt along the highway’s northbound lanes in the city of Surprise, which will complete the expansion in Surprise.
Photo Credit: Jeff Grant / Independent Newsmedia, Inc., USA

The expanded Loop 303will not be finished for another year, but the section in Surprise is days from completion.

When work crews lay down the final stretch of rubberized asphalt on Loop 303’s new northbound lanes between Peoria and Grand avenues this weekend, the project will mark a major milestone. It will not be until fall 2014 when new development is expected to begin to get rolling along that corridor in Surprise.

That is how long the Arizona Department of Transportation expects it to take for crews to finish the new highway to Interstate 10 in Goodyear, wrapping up transformation of a two-lane local road into a six-lane, freeway linking interstates 10 and 17, and bringing more nonlocal traffic through the center of Surprise.

While city officials have no retail or commercial projects they are prepared to announce immediately, they have mentioned several possibilities in the past.

“The success of the 303 Auto Show (at Loop 303 and Peoria Avenue) is an example of what we can look forward to. The 303 corridor is also an area ripe for medical expansion to meet future needs of a growing West Valley population,” continued Assistant City Manager Jeff Mihelich, who also serves as Community and Economic Development Director.

New housing has picked up again in the city, especially in the areas south of Waddell Road within 3-6 miles of the expanded highway. Earlier this year, city officials granted approval for new phases that will include hundreds of units in Marley Park.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ab Jackson sees the West Valley following a similar pattern as that of the East Valley, where construction of the Loop 101 and Loop 202 freeways helped spur development in the late 1990s and 2000s.

Read more at AZNewsZap