Apache Junction, Pinal County to close undeveloped path deemed unsafe

The trail labeled as “Mountain View Road” is deemed unsafe for travel and will be accessible only on foot or by horseback after June 25 while fencing is installed in the area. (Photo by Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

The city of Apache Junction and Pinal County closes an undeveloped dirt path in the northeastern corner of the city to put fencing typically used for state lands at road entrances.

The trail labeled as “Mountain View Road” has been deemed unsafe for travel and will be accessible only on foot or by horseback after June 25 while fencing is installed in the area, according to a press release, noting the possibility of installing equestrian cross-overs and hiker cut-outs at access points.

“This was never intended to be a road but has become a trail connecting two developed roads,” said Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy in a prepared statement. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt trying to navigate this area.”

The path connecting Mountain View north of Superstition Boulevard and State Route 88 (Apache Trail) is contained within city limits, the release said, noting that it is owned by the Arizona State Land Department and located next to residents of unincorporated Pinal County.

“We are ensuring the safety of our citizens by closing the area off to vehicle traffic,” said Pinal County Supervisor Todd House in a prepared statement. “Until resources are found to develop the area, this is the best solution for all involved.”

In 2008, the State Land Department notified the city of Apache Junction that the city was trespassing for maintaining “an extremely primitive level historic roadway” primarily for Pinal County resident access to the Superstition Foothills and the Mining Camp neighborhood, the release stated.

The state was responding to the city asking the state to “dustproof the roads due to complaints,” the release said.

The release added that the city stopped road maintenance after significant monsoon storms and removed all signs on the property, placing “primitive roadway/not city-maintained or controlled” signs at every access point.

The county has since received complaints from nearby residents about the excess dust. County elected officials have approached the city to address the situation since 2016, the release detailed.

Until the state considers the property for private development through the mandated bidding process, it is in the best interest of the state to protect the land from illegal dumping, off-road motorized use and camping as other state land within the city limits has been protected, the release said.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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