Council seeks to have Queen Creek regional partner on items related to Johnson Utilities

The Queen Creek Town Council on July 18 approved an intergovernmental agreement to act as regional partner with the town of Florence in the ongoing Arizona Corporation Commission investigation of the billing and water quality issues of Johnson Utilities LLC. The agreement includes submitting an application to the commission to be designated as the interim […]

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office offers report on Country Thunder 2018 efforts

Country Thunder 2018 ended Sunday, April 8 in Florence with 16 arrests made during the four-day event, which the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office provided law enforcement security and 24-hour law enforcement support. PCSO scheduled off-duty deputies and undercover officers to work the campgrounds and the concert, according to a press release. Additionally the sheriff’s office, […]

Music legends, emerging stars to perform at County Thunder

The line-up for Country Thunder includes some of today’s top county/western stars as well as up-and-comers. Veteran duo Big & Rich; Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith and Cole Swindell will be joined by emerging superstars Brett Young and Michael Ray; the legendary Tracy Lawrence and red-hot, up-and-comer Lindsay Ell at Country Thunder Arizona, which […]

Scenic Florence: Glossy snake

  Photographer Steven Alexander came across this glossy snake while he was driving through Florence. “The snake was soaking up the heat from the road and I moved it to safety so as to avoid danger from oncoming traffic,” he said in his e-mail. The Independent encourages residents to submit their favorite scenic or wildlife […]

Pinal County: Repairs to Attaway Bridge near Florence expected to begin in late June

Project expected to begin June 26, cost $300,000-$400,000 Pinal County Public Works is the preparation stages for repairing Attaway Bridge, on Attaway Road south of Hunt Highway. This major arterial connects Coolidge, Florence and the San Tan Valley areas. “We are currently in the bidding process right now,” said Public Works Director Louis Andersen in […]

Pinal County to host family resource provider fair in April

Registration for free vendor booth ends March 31 Services available to families and children will be highlighted in April as Pinal County hosts a resource provider fair in Florence. The resource fair will be an opportunity for the community to learn about the services available to them and for professionals to network with other providers, […]

ADOT: SR 79 at Gila River Bridge in Florence narrowed to one lane Sept. 28-29

State Route 79 will remain narrowed to one lane in both directions at the Gila River Bridge between mileposts 135 and 136 in Florence, from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29, for bridge repair work. Traffic will be alternated to the open lane, guided by crews and traffic devices, according […]

State Route 79 narrowed to one lane Sept. 22 for Gila River bridge work in Florence

State Route 79 will be narrowed to one lane in both directions at the Gila River Bridge between mileposts 135-6 in Florence, from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 22, for bridge repair work. Traffic will be alternated to the open lane, guided by crews and traffic devices, according to a press release. Drivers should […]

Proposed land swap for Resolution Copper mine topic of June 9 meeting

Queen Creek and San Tan Valley residents can weigh in this week on a proposed land swap of 5,344 acres of privately held land for 2,422 acres of federal land for a Resolution Copper mine.

A public scoping meeting will be held 5-8 p.m. June 9 at the Central Arizona College San Tan Campus, 3736 E. Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. A presentation begins at 5:30 p.m., according to a press release.

“Tonto National Forest officials have extended the public scoping period for the proposed Resolution Copper mine and associated land exchange environmental impact statement,” Carrie Templin, Tonto National Forest spokeswoman, said in the release. “The EIS will analyze the environmental effects of a mining proposal submitted to the Tonto National Forest by Resolution Copper Mining LLC; the exchange of 2,422 acres of federal land near Oak Flat for 5,344 acres of privately held land elsewhere in Arizona; and any necessary amendments to the Tonto National Forest land and resource management plan.”

Early days of Hunt Highway

“When our auto turned at the Higley end of this new highway and started for Florence, the driver shifted onto the high gear and made the 35-mile home run in one hour and five minutes,” Arizona Blade, February 1913.

Just six months prior to this 1913 report, an automobile party composed of the Honorable Lamar Cobb, State Engineer; Jas. A. Parker, assistant state engineer; Geo. H. Binkley, of the Mesa Improvement Co., Chandler; Geo. T. Peabody, secretary of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce; L.H. Sarey, postmaster and merchant at Higley; and Oris Holdren, arrived in Florence from Higley by way of the old Silvestre ranch. The route skirted the foothills of the mountains, a range we now refer to as the San Tan Mountains; “…lying south of Webster station and north of Sacaton.” The party returned to Higley by the road that follows along the Arizona-Eastern railroad tracks.

The purpose of the trip was to acquire knowledge of the topography of the country between Florence and Higley and the character of the surface material with a view to locating the most feasible route for the state highway between Phoenix and Florence. Mr. Higley proposed that if the state would locate the road directly from Higley to Florence, and clear the right-of-way, he would put on his teams and completely grade the road-bed from Higley to the Pinal county line without cost to the state.

And in February of 1913, another auto party left Florence for a run to Higley over the new state highway that was just receiving the finishing touches, aside from the culvert work, which would be held in abeyance until a standard for state highway culverts could be decided on.