Centennial Way - Celebrating Arizona’s Past, Present, and Future Print

More than just a streetscape project, Centennial Way is a tribute to Arizona's history and culture.


Arizona’s Centennial takes place February 14, 2012, and the Arizona Centennial Commission, the statewide board charged by Governor Janice K. Brewer with planning and implementing Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood, has many plans to celebrate this historic event. One of the Commission’s signature projects is “Centennial Way,” which transformed Washington Street and the Arizona Capitol Mall entrance into a beautiful streetscape that will host the capital’s centennial celebrations (Best Fest on Feb. 11th and 12th; and Arizona’s 100th Statehood Day on Feb. 14th).

The Centennial Way Federal Aid-Transportation Enhancement Project (Centennial Way) utilized a 2-Step Design-Build delivery method. The Design-Build Team of Achen-Gardner Construction, LLC and Entellus, Inc. was awarded the project in late 2010 after being shortlisted on Step 1 (a statement of qualifications submittal) and prevailing after Step 2 (a technical/cost proposal submittal and interview). The project’s Design-Build management framework allowed for the free flow of information and efficient coordination among owner, design-builder, and stakeholders resulting in a truly effective team to meet the ultimate deadline, Arizona’s 100th birthday.

Although this effort was primarily funded with federal dollars through the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, the City of Phoenix provided additional funds and construction management to shepherd this venture into a project that brought the roadway to current standards (meeting functional and accessibility requirements) as well as transforming Washington Street into an appealing gateway to our Capitol plaza. The corridor showcases Arizona’s rich and diverse culture, regional history, and beautiful landmarks, with special emphasis on Arizona’s counties and Native American tribes. It is a snapshot of Arizona, leading pedestrians and vehicles to the Capitol along the very same historic boulevard on which parade-goers and Governor George W.P. Hunt marched 100 years ago on Admission Day.

The project consists of roadway improvements (Washington and Adams Streets from 7th Avenue to 19th Avenue) including curb & gutter, sidewalk and pedestrian ramps, a consistent 6” vertical curb reveal along the corridor, and a rubberized asphalt overlay. Major project features include eight thematic major shade structures providing historic and current information relative to the theme, a “Tribal Walk” showcasing Arizona’s 22 Native American tribes, 15 county displays, seven wayfinding signs, seating nodes, solar power elements, additional palm trees, pistache and elm trees for added shade along the corridor, planting nodes, landscape irrigation systems, new energy efficient LED street and pedestrian lights, and the undergrounding of existing overhead street light power.




View the Centennial Way Overall Map Guide

The project was designed to be multi-modal with a dedicated bus lane, bicycle lane, travel lanes, and on-street parking. To promote increased pedestrian usage and enjoyment, sidewalks were widened to a minimum of six feet on the south side and eight feet on the north side, and shade from new trees and shade structures were introduced along the corridor. Lighting was upgraded to provide enhanced safety, while crosswalks, pedestrian ramps and sidewalks were upgraded to meet current accessibility standards, along with newly installed audible pedestrian signals for the traffic signals at 15th Avenue and 17th Avenue. Finally, seating areas were installed to provide Centennial Way visitors a place to rest.

Centennial Way welcomed the involvement of many stakeholders, and as a design-build project with a relatively short duration and fixed completion date, there was no time to waste. Stakeholder coordination began very early on with presentations to organizations with a special interest in the project and the corridor for their input into early design concepts. These organizations included the Arizona Centennial Commission, Arizona Department of Administration, City of Phoenix, Phoenix Community Alliance, Capitol Mall Association, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, State Historic Preservation Office, County Supervisors Association, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Central Village Planning Committee, Industrial Commision of Arizona, and area residents.

Karen Churchard, Director of the Arizona Centennial Commission, stated that “The collaboration of the Arizona Department of Transportation, City of Phoenix construction management, and the Arizona Centennial Commission was amazing. Many thought it couldn’t be done in such a short timeframe. However, everyone came on board and worked together to create a noteworthy thoroughfare leading to our state’s Capitol from downtown Phoenix.”

Because of this opportunity to transform the Arizona Capitol Mall into a pedestrian-friendly showcase of Arizona, Centennial Way is much more than just a street enhancement project. It is a legacy that Arizonans will be proud of, serving as a destination point where people can visit and learn about the great state of Arizona.

Project Owner: City of Phoenix

Major Subconsultants/Subcontractors: Waibel and Associates Landscape Architecture, MakPro Services, CR Engineers, CAID Industries, Kimbrell Electric, SC Legacy, Sunland Asphalt

For more information about the project visit:


Achen-Gardner-Facebook4  LIKE US ON FACEBOOK              Achen-Gardner-Twitter4  FOLLOW US ON TWITTER            Achen-Gardner-YouTube4  WATCH US ON YOUTUBE