By: Joshua Bowling
Construction near Mesa Community College, which began in March of 2012, is still affecting Mesa residents and students.
The City of Mesa chose Hunter Contracting Co. as the construction manager at risk for this project, which – after two years and seven months – is nearing completion.
This project included widening Mesa Drive to two lanes northbound and three lanes southbound between U.S. Route 60 and Southern Avenue.
In addition, the project called for Mesa Drive to receive enhanced landscaping, decorative walls, decorative median columns, upgraded bus shelters, and monument signs at U.S. 60.
Hunter Contracting Co. listed their contract amount as $24.5 million on their website.
Business Development Manager for Hunter Contracting Co., Keli Dobberstein, declined to comment further.
Part of this project includes modification of existing storm drains. City of Mesa electric lines on Mesa Drive from 10th Avenue to Eighth Avenue will run underground with City utility funds.
Water, gas, and storm drain modifications will run north up to Broadway Road in order to connect with recently installed lines, according to the City of Mesa’s website.
MCC students took opposing sides on the issue.
One student, Lafayette Martin, said that he was satisfied with the construction because it is beautifying Mesa. “The “Welcome to Mesa” monument signs should be used as tourist attractions,” Martin said.
The monument signs have been constructed on medians, resting in the middle of the street. They are made up of three vertical, red, white, and blue pillars with the inscription, “Welcome to Mesa.”
Student Ariel Smith agreed with Martin. “I think they’re nice. It makes Mesa a little bit more respectable looking,” Smith said.
Student Adrianne Pugh was not pleased with the amount of money that has gone toward the project. “To be honest, I think there’s other ways to advertise Mesa if that’s what we’re spending,” Pugh said.
The City of Mesa updated the project’s status on March 17, 2014, as “substantially completed with the exception of the installation of two bus shelters and two ‘Welcome to Mesa’ signs at Holmes and Mesa Drive.”