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uptown1227 Friday, Dec. 22, marked the final day Tiffany Construction crews worked on Sedona’s main route as part of the Uptown Enhancement Project.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
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Major construction on Hwy. 89A in Uptown is finally complete.

Friday, Dec. 22, marked the final day Tiffany Construction crews worked on Sedona’s main route as part of the Uptown Enhancement Project.

“The last two weeks have just been a remarkable change out there,” John O’Brien, director of community development for the city, said.

O’Brien addressed four people who attended the final Uptown construction meeting Dec. 22.

Pedestrian lights came on and barricades were down at the end of Friday’s workday.

Originally, city staff set the project completion date for October 2006.

After numerous delays, Tiffany Construction managed to finish along Hwy. 89A but Apple Avenue isn’t done.

Apple Avenue won’t be complete until some time in January.

Tiffany Construction did not specify an exact date.

City Manager Eric Levitt authorized Tiffany Construction to continue work on Apple Avenue instead of taking a two-week break from Monday, Dec. 25, to Friday, Jan. 5, for the holidays.

“We want to keep this moving,” O’Brien said.

While construction continues, the city placed restrictions on crews through Jan. 5.

Work is authorized only Wednesday, Dec. 27, to Friday, Dec. 29, and Tuesday, Jan. 2, to Friday, Jan. 5.

During this time, only 11 people at a time can work, and they can only work on Apple Avenue.

Crews will access Apple Avenue from Jordan Road rather than Hwy. 89A whenever possible and no construction vehicles are to be parked on Hwy. 89A.

Pedestrian access — a fenced walkway — is also to be maintained along Apple Avenue until construction is complete.

Weather is now the only thing standing in Tiffany Construction’s way, the company’s Project Manager Chevelle Frantz said.

“Temperature’s going to be a real issue there with concrete and asphalt,” Frantz said.

Mother Nature gave crews a scare during the final week of work on Hwy. 89A, according to Frantz.

On Dec. 18, temperatures dipped below freezing, making it impossible for crews to pour either concrete or asphalt.

According to Frantz, temperatures must be 40 degrees Fahrenheit and rising to pour asphalt. Concrete can’t be poured in temperatures below freezing — 32F.

Mid-week, Tiffany Construction workers got their break.

“We got really lucky on Wednesday,” Frantz said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to pave.”

Frantz said she is relieved crews finished Friday.

“I’m so glad we’re off [Hwy.] 89A,” Frantz said.

Geri Shultz, owner of Turquoise Buffalo, who said she is sure she’s “been a thorn in their side at times,” is pleased with the final product.

“Looks great,” Shultz said.

Shultz attended all but three Friday Uptown Enhancement Project meetings and sat in at the last one.

“Tiffany Construction and the city have done an excellent job keeping things organized,” Shultz said.

Desired touch-ups by the city and landscaping are the only possible future work on the highway, according to Frantz and O’Brien.

Minor touch-ups don’t cause much traffic disturbance, Frantz said.

The city plans to finish landscaping when temperatures warm up, O’Brien said.

Also, according to O’Brien, Tiffany Construction added three more spaces to the planned 100 along Hwy. 89A.

Before construction, Uptown offered 128 parking spaces to motorists on Hwy. 89A.

Now only 103 spaces are available along the highway, but O’Brien said the city added parking at other locations to compensate.

“We hate to lose parking on the highway,” O’Brien said, “but at least we have tried to offset it.”

Conversion of two bus parking spots at the Hyatt Piñon Pointe produced 10 additional spaces.

The city also stripped the south side of Forest Road, creating 18 spaces.

So, numerically, no spaces were lost — 128 continue to serve the Uptown district. The city relocated them, O’Brien said.

Patrons can access Uptown via the RoadRunner transit service as well.

Saturday, the transit’s route shifted to include a shuttle to the north end of Hwy. 89A.

From now on, the city plans to service Uptown’s public parking lot off Jordan Road with one trolley while the other stays strictly on Hwy. 89A and Hwy. 179.

Once construction is complete on Apple Avenue, Tiffany Construction plans to put an asphalt seal over all of the paving — the finishing touch.


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