PHOENIX — The first phase of work for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s long-awaited Interstate 17 Improvement Project from Anthem Way to Sunset Point is now underway.
Drivers will start to see changes to this 23-mile corridor as the work zone is established and construction begins.
The $446 million project, which will add capacity and reduce congestion along the heavily traveled freight corridor, is expected to take approximately three years to complete, a news release stated.
It includes 15 miles of widening from Anthem Way to Black Canyon City and the construction of approximately eight miles of flex lanes from Black Canyon City to Sunset Point. Drivers can expect various construction activities through the 23-mile corridor and should plan their trips accordingly.
“The I-17 Improvement Project is an important investment in Arizona’s transportation infrastructure,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “All who travel I-17 regularly for weekend trips and daily commutes will benefit, including commercial truckers who use this Key Commerce Corridor to haul goods and services throughout our state. This project is critical for Arizona drivers and our state’s economy.”
ADOT partnered with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Federal Highway Administration on this much-anticipated project.
“I want all drivers to be aware that ADOT is adding lanes to improve safety and reduce driver frustration by relieving the congestion the current configuration causes,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Although there will be additional lanes, it is up to drivers to behave responsibly, operate their vehicles according to the law and, above all, be patient and courteous with each other. Let’s get everyone safely home.”
The project has been funded in part by $50 million of Proposition 400 funds, a dedicated sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters, along with state and federal funds, including $40 million in state funding from higher-than-anticipated revenue amid Arizona’s strong economic recovery.
The developer team that is designing and building this project is Kiewit-Fann Joint Venture.
“The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) recognizes that transportation is not only about getting where you want to go, it also is about our quality of life — visiting family, doing the things we love with the people we love,” said MAG Transportation Policy Committee Chair Jack Sellers, a supervisor for Maricopa County. “Transportation is about our economy. It is about safety. That is why transportation investment is so important, and why MAG contributed funding to this project from Anthem Way to the Yavapai County line.”
Construction officially starts this week. While some construction activities may take place during the daytime hours, lane closures along I-17 will occur only during off-peak travel times in either the northbound or southbound direction, depending on the day of the week. Most lane closures will occur weeknights from 7 p.m. – 6 a.m. Lane closures that impact drivers will not be scheduled on weekends and holidays to keep I-17 open and keep traffic moving during heavy travel days.
Work crews will begin with guardrail repair, equipment mobilization and work zone preparation. The work zone preparation will occur inside and outside the existing lanes and will include wildlife surveys, spraying for noxious and invasive weeds, clearing vegetation and salvaging viable native plants, cacti and trees.
The work also includes removing rumble strips, paving the shoulder areas and setting up temporary concrete barriers. The existing traffic lanes will be shifted by four feet to accommodate the construction zone. All of this work is expected to take about six weeks.
Construction work at New River Road will began Monday, Sept. 26. ADOT will maintain one lane in each direction, and interstate access will not be impacted at this time. The New River Road bridge work is expected to last until February 2023.
In addition to the widening and flex lane construction, this improvement project includes the widening of 10 bridges and the full replacement of two bridges. Work will occur at various areas throughout the 23-mile corridor for the duration of the project. Drivers are encouraged to sign up for weekly traffic alerts to stay informed; visit improvingi17.com/lets-connect.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.