The project is being financed with $27 million from a bondelection and $4.4-million grant from the federal government fortransportation development. Tim Conner, Scottsdale's principalplanner, says the streetscape's master plan is making its waythrough the development and approval process. The public, planningdepartment, city council and Arizona Department of Transportationstill have to sign off on the final plan.

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Conner says the 2009 construction start will focus on thesouthern part of the thoroughfare between Roosevelt Street andEarll Drive. The time line for subsequent phases hasn't beendetermined.

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Conner says the move to unify Scottsdale Road through designelements, landscaping and pedestrian walkways began in 1998 whencitizens participated in a charrette led by John Meurnier, thenDean of Arizona State University's College of Architecture. "Theyset the vision and saw there was a need to unify Scottsdale Roadbecause of its importance to the community and the overall Valley,"Conner says.

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Although the idea is good in theory, Conner says employingcontinuity along Scottsdale Road is a challenge. For one thing, theroad was built piecemeal, beginning in the late 1950s. Differentstyles of architecture and landscaping line the road, whichmeanders through older retail commercial zones, urban corelocations, resort corridors and natural desert from Carefree on thenorth to Tempe on the southern end.

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"What we did was come up with two different concepts," Connerexplains. "One is the items of continuity--things you'd see alongstreetscapes, but that have different characteristics." Forexample, he points out that the foothills scenic area, which is thedesert and natural area of Scottsdale Road's northern portion mighthave walking trails instead of sidewalks.

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Conner tells GlobeSt.com that the current funding will be usedmostly for the southern and Downtown portion of the project becausethese areas require the most work at this time. Once the money runsout, he says "we'll have to get creative, whether it be throughanother bond program if citizens are willing to do that or evenworking on a transportation project."

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Although putting walkways, landscaping and bike paths along theartery might seem a lot of fuss for a street, Conner doesn't see itthat way. He points out that Scottsdale Road is one of the longestroads in the region. "It's the namesake of our city," he adds.

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