Request to reopen State Route 88 and keep it in the Arizona State Route System.
Let it be known that we, the taxpayers and visitants of Arizona, are troubled about the current status of State Route 88 Apache Trail and wish to express our strong support for repairing and reopening the road to motorized traffic.
The Apache Trail State Route 88 is an indispensable State Route to the encompassing communities rendering valley residents access to an excess of recreation opportunities, including scenic driving, hiking, fishing, kayaking, watersports, and a chance to enjoy one of Arizona’s desolate wilderness areas. Aside from the recreation opportunities, there are hundreds of documented historical events along its Route. From the bloody Apache Wars to world-renowned Lost Dutchman Gold, Arizona State Route 88 is a gateway to experience the mysterious history of the Superstition Mountains.
The Apache Trail is part of U.S. History, and We, The People of Arizona, have a vested interest in State Route 88. It allowed the construction of the first water project under the Bureau of Reclamation, which enabled the settlement of Phoenix. We have paid for maintenance on the road since its construction in 1904. Today, over 115 years later, Arizona State Route 88 is designated as an Arizona Historic Scenic Highway.
Whereas the 2017 Low-Volume State Route Study by the Arizona Department of Transportation suggests the state does not consider Arizona State Route 88 part of the State Route system and recommends forfeiture of the road to “other entities,” including agencies of the federal government. Moreover, the 2017 Low-Volume State Route Study suggests lowering maintenance requirements, paving the road, installing dynamic speed signs, and other improvements that are not realistic after the 2019 Woodbury wildfire, and;
Whereas on August 30, 1954, the 83rd U.S. Congress approved Public Law 83.708 asserting, “the United States of America hereby quitclaims to the State of Arizona all its right, title, and interest in and to all that portion of the land lying within the right-of-way of the State highway designated on the plat of Victory Tract as the Apache Trail, said plat being recorded in the office of the county recorder of Maricopa County in book 31 of maps, page 6 thereof,” and;
Whereas the rockfall on Arizona State Route 88, a large metal gate, and No Trespassing signs have hindered valley residents from reasonably accessing the surrounding public lands for almost three years and have isolated a substantial amount of recreation opportunities. As a result, The People can no longer experience the most beautiful part of Arizona State Route 88, and;
Whereas Maricopa County Sherriff Deputies cannot promptly access Apache Lake Marina and the easternmost corner of their jurisdiction, coincidentally increasing response times for search and rescue efforts, and;
Whereas local businesses have suffered financially from the closure of State Route 88 and the economic impact can be felt by surrounding cities and towns, and;
Whereas the Arizona Department of Transportation has made no effort to repair Fish Creek Hill and has stalled for almost three years, although $700,000 was approved by the legislature to start vegetation studies.
Therefore, I, %first_name% %last_name%, respectfully request the governor of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Transportation, and the Arizona State Transportation Board consider the following:
Utilize funding appropriated by SB1820 to start the necessary studies to reopen the closed 7-mile section of State Route 88.
Clear the rockfall on Arizona State Route 88, designate the Fish Creek Hill portion as a “low maintenance” dirt road, and restore through motorized travel.
Maintain the 7-mile dirt portion of State Route 88 at Fish Creek Hill until vegetation can regrow and ADOT can complete the studies funded by SB1820.
Refrain from forfeiting to “other jurisdictions” the RS 2477 Rights Of Way to Arizona State Route 88 as mentioned in the 2017 Low Volume State Route Study.
Assert the state Revised Statute 2477 right of way granted by historical law and governed by ARS 37-931 still valid under sections 701(a), 701(h), and 509(a) of the Federal Land Policy Management Act.
Consider lowering the maintenance standards, acquiring grants and county road bonds, and partnering with cities and towns for future maintenance of Arizona State Route 88.
The Arizona Department of Transportation keeps the public updated, including on social media, on progress on State Route 88, including all documents, determinations, and studies.
This message was sent from an individual via a Call To Action on SaveApacheTrail.com.