Arizona State Route 347
|Maintained by ADOT|
|Length:||28.69 mi (46.17 km)|
|Existed:||1997 – present|
|South end:||SR 84 near Stanfield|
|North end:||I-10 near Sun Lakes|
State Route 347 (SR 347), also known as John Wayne Parkway, is a 28.69 miles (46.17 km) long, north–south state highway in central Arizona. The route begins at SR 84 and heads north. It passes through Maricopa, meeting SR 238. The route ends at an interchange with Interstate 10 (I-10) south of Chandler. It primarily serves as the major road to Maricopa; much of the road lies within the Gila River Indian Community, with another short stretch through the Ak-Chin Indian Community. The road was built in the late 1930s and established as a state highway in the 1990s. On average, between 4,000 and 35,000 vehicles use the roadway daily.
The route begins at an intersection with SR 84 west of Stanfield. SR 347 then heads northward as John Wayne Parkway, a four-lane expressway, which SR 347 is for its entirety, through a desert landscape. After intersecting Meadowview Road and crossing a canal, SR 347 meets Carefree Place, where a farm appears to the west part of the road. At Clayton Road, the east side of the road becomes farmland as well. John Wayne Parkway enters the Ak-Chin Indian Community, passing the Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, and intersects BIA Route 14 within this community. At Route 14, the route becomes Maricopa Road, but retains its name as John Wayne Parkway, as it heads toward Maricopa. Continuing on its northerly path, the road exits the Indian community with a residential area to the west and desert to the east. Past Bowlin road, this orientation switches, as the residential area is located on the east side of Maricopa Road. The arrangement of the landscape switches again at Desert Cedars Road, where the road passes the Maricopa First Baptist Church. Before meeting the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, the road passes Maricopa High School. It also meets an at-grade intersection with a rail line, owned by Amtrak.
North of this highway, SR 347 passes Honeycutt Road and passes by the Pinal County Justice Court. After an intersection with Edison Road, SR 347 passes several businesses before intersecting SR 238, named Smith Enke Road. The route then enters another residential area before abruptly passing into the desert. The road turns more northeasterly, heading through the Gila River Indian Community. Turning back north and slightly northeast again, the road crosses from Pinal County into Maricopa County. After intersecting Riggs Road, Maricopa Road veers away from John Wayne Parkway, which SR 347 follows. Now as Queen Creek Road, which serves as another name, SR 347 heads east for a small distance, ending at a diamond interchange at I-10's exit 164. Queen Creek Road continues toward Chandler Municipal Airport.
The route is maintained by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which is responsible for maintaining highways in the state. As part of this role, the department periodically conducts surveys to measure traffic on highways in Arizona. These surveys are most often presented in the form of average annual daily traffic (AADT), which is the number of vehicles that use a highway on any average day during the year. In 2009, ADOT calculated that around 4,500 vehicles used the road daily near the SR 84 intersection and about 33,000 vehicles used the route near the I-10 interchange on an average day. No part of the highway has been listed in the National Highway System, a system of roads in the United States important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility.
The section north of Maricopa, toward present day I-10, was built by 1939. The road headed north toward Tempe to U.S. Route 80. Between 1951 and 1958, the road was extended south to its current terminus at SR 84; at this time, I-10 had still not been built, nor had the route become a numbered route. By 1971, I-10 was finished through the south and east edges of the Phoenix area. In 1989, ADOT made preparations to establish the number along Maricopa Road and reserved the right-of-way along the parkway. This may have been because of a controversy over the name of John Wayne Parkway, which the road was dubbed at the time. The Gila River Native Americans, whose reservation the parkway ran on, did not want this name, as John Wayne, the actor who formerly owned a ranch on the road, had appeared in several movies in which he had killed Native Americans. In 1997, the route was officially established as a state highway with its current routing. SR 347 was widened from a two-lane road to the four-lane expressway that it is today.
|Pinal||0.00||0.00||SR 84 – Stanfield, Casa Grande, Gila Bend||Southern terminus|
|Maricopa||13.69||22.03||SR 238 west|
|Maricopa||28.69||46.17||I-10 – Phoenix, Tucson||Interchange, northern terminus; continues as Queen Creek Road|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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