ADOT Moving on to I-10 & SR 210 Phase II final alternatives

TUCSON, Arizona — Proposals to improve traffic flow along Interstate 10 and State Route 210 (Barraza Aviation Parkway) connecting downtown Tucson with I-10 have been the subject of public meetings in Tucson since 2015 when phase I began.

In 2017, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration began the second phase of a study to determine how best to improve mobility along Interstate 10 from Interstate 19 to Kolb Road, southeast of downtown Tucson.

The study also will help to identify a new alignment for State Route 210 to connect downtown Tucson with I-10 southeast of downtown Tucson to help reduce congestion in that area.

With Tucson’s rapidly growing south and southeast sides, the widening of I-10 in those areas is well overdue.  Also, the extension of SR 210, connecting it with I-10 while passing over roads like Ajo and Irvington would certainly make the commute to and from the southside, a growing center of employment, much easier for many Tucsonans.  While the study only looks as far east as Kolb Road when it comes to expanding I-10, it is clear that I-10 will need to be widened further east, likely to at least Houghton Road.

There are two alternatives ADOT is studying and here’s what they involve:

Both alternatives are in agreement with how they would handle extending SR 210 to I-10.  An improved interchange at Golflinks, SR 210 and Alvernon would be incorporated to help make the interchange function more efficiently.  Beyond the interchange with Golflinks, traffic would be widened to four lanes in each direction.  A bridge would cross over Ajo Way, allowing traffic to enter and exit SR 210 via on and off ramps.  Bridges over Michigan Street and Irvington Road would also be included, allowing traffic to flow without having to stop at traffic lights.  Along with those improvements would be a large interchange at what is currently I-10 and Alvernon, connecting SR 210 directly to the freeway.

In both alternatives, I-10 would be increased up to four lanes in each direction from the I-10/I-19 interchange to Alvernon.  These lanes would consist of 3 travel and 1 auxiliary lane.  East of the proposed connection with SR 210 is where the concepts of how to widen I-10 would differ.  The first alternative would go for the simple, more traditional approach.  It would involve increasing I-10 to six lanes in each direction all the way to Kolb.  These lanes would consist of five travel and one auxiliary.

SR 210/I-10 interchange (Image: ADOT)

The second option would involve a collector and distributor roadway.  Essentially, a collector and distributor roadway would allow traffic with no intent of exiting the interstate in the area to travel on a separate, divided set of lanes.  This allows through traffic to not have to deal with the merging and exiting of more localized freeway users, allowing them to maintain higher speeds and increased safety.  While the interstate would be expanded to the same number of lanes as the first option, six lanes, it would include a C-D roadway.  The illustration below from ADOT shows how the C-D roadway is separated from the through traffic.

C-D Roadway (Image: ADOT)

So, what is the next step?  ADOT is currently in the process of completing a design concept report and environmental assessment, expected to be completed in Spring of 2019.  These two studies must be completed before the project can move forward.  It is probably safe to say that this project would not begin construction until the early 2020s, at best.

ADOT is now requesting the public’s input on the alternatives for this project, to learn more click here: and here.