Florence recommends Merrill Ranch exit for new freeway

By Mark Cowling | Pinal County

The town’s official comments on the future north-south freeway will recommend the Hunt Highway exit be moved north approximately a half mile to Merrill Ranch Parkway, which would create the potential for another exit more convenient to downtown Florence.

The state’s preferred corridor for the future freeway includes exits on Arizona 287, Hunt Highway and Arizona Farms Road. But Anthem developers have recommended to the town that an exit on Merrill Ranch Parkway would do more to stimulate economic development, Town Manager Brent Billingsley told the Town Council on Monday.

The council held a work session to discuss the town’s official comments on the freeway’s draft environmental document, due next week to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Actual construction of the freeway could be 20 or more years away.

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