Traffic volumes – how will this affect my daily drive? Won’t this cause undue wear and tear on Old Nogales Highway? UPDATED 11/20/2023

Vulcan provided information in their application regarding their truck traffic including the 2022 average operation day truck traffic, their expected average days with the HMA plant, and the maximum  truck potential.  

Trucks Per DayTrips Per Day
2022 Operation*63126
Estimated Average Day with HMA Plant50 to 76100 to 152
Maximum Potential 225450

*Number of operational days in 2022 was 105 days. Vulcan estimates that the site will be operational 250 days per year with the HMA plant in production.

It is important to note that the traffic volume on Old Nogales Highway was 8,819 trips per day when last counted in 2022. The road is designated as an arterial and is designed to handle volumes of over 16,000 trips per day while still maintaining a reasonable level of traffic flow.  The increased number of trucks will not have a substantial impact on the road’s ability to handle traffic. Additionally, when Old Nogales Highway was designed it was known that this road would be an arterial road. As such, a higher volume of heavy vehicle traffic would be associated with this type of use and the pavement section constructed accordingly. The new heavy vehicle trips proposed by this use would not be outside of what the road was designed to handle.  

Should the Town Council determine that the findings support approval, staff may recommend that road improvements be required. These improvements may include turn lanes, acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes, and surface treatments.  

11/20/2023 UPDATE: A traffic impact study (TIS) or a traffic impact analysis (TIA) is a specialized engineering document prepared by qualified traffic engineering firms and individuals to assess the potential effects of a proposed development on the surrounding roadway network. Vulcan was required to submit a TIS with their application. The purpose of a TIS or TIA is to determine the potential traffic impacts of a proposed development on the existing road system. It helps ensure safe and reasonable traffic conditions once the development is complete and protects the community’s investment in its street system. The study may also recommend geometric or operational roadway improvements to accommodate the proposed traffic. ADOT and the surrounding jurisdictions maintain specifications and guidelines for the best practices in conducting a TIS/TIA to advise applicants as to what is necessary for a comprehensive, complete and acceptable TIS/TIA for development projects. A TIS/TIA not meeting those guidelines is considered incomplete and unacceptable.

The Town has hired a third party consultant to review all traffic documents related to this project to ensure they meet the required specifications and guidelines. The consultant for this work is a Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Arizona and is also certified as both a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer and a Road Safety Professional specializing in infrastructure. Additionally, all documents have been reviewed by the Town Engineer, a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Arizona and by the town’s Traffic Signal Operations Manager, who is certified as both a Traffic Signal Operations Specialist and Road Safety Professional. 

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1. Why didn’t the town just dismiss the application outright?
2. Has the town already made up its mind to approve this?
3. Why is this taking so long? UPDATED 11/8/2023
4. Why is the Town allowing Vulcan to provide their own studies?
5. If the town decides to approve this, can extra requirements be placed on Vulcan?
6. What is a General Plan?
7. How does the General Plan work in conjunction with the zoning code?
8. How does the Town determine compliance with the General Plan?
9. How can the Town consider approving this application when so many residents are against it?
10. How can this use be allowed when the purpose statement of the RH zone is “to preserve the character and encourage the orderly growth of rural areas in the town."
11. What about the single access to the site crossing the railroad? Isn’t Union Pacific concerned? What about fire access? UPDATED 11/8/2023
12. Why is the town not requiring an EIS?
13. Why doesn’t the town require a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) be installed to control plant emissions? UPDATED 11/13/2023
14. Traffic volumes – how will this affect my daily drive? Won’t this cause undue wear and tear on Old Nogales Highway? UPDATED 11/20/2023
15. Are the emissions going to make me sick?
16. Why can’t the town regulate environmental permits?
17. I heard that the Vulcan property is classified as vacant for tax purposes. Doesn’t this negate their claim that the sand and gravel operation is a legal nonconforming use? UPDATED 11/8/2023