MARANA, Arizona – When the new interchange at Ina Road and Interstate 10 in Marana opens in the coming weeks, it will include state-of-the-art technology helping Arizona Department of Transportation engineers adjust signals to keep traffic flowing.
Work on the $128 million project, which began two years ago, includes significant improvements to the interchange and to Ina Road in a growing area northwest of Tucson. The new interchange is expected to open in early spring, while work on improvements to Ina Road and new bridges over the Santa Cruz River will continue for several months.
Traffic signals where the new I-10 ramps intersect with Ina Road will include cameras that collect data on traffic moving past. That data will help traffic engineers decide whether to alter the length of green lights to move traffic more efficiently. Marana also is adding cameras for the same purpose along Ina Road at Starcommerce Way and Camino de la Cruz.
The cameras give a 360-degree view of the intersections and replace sensors placed in cuts made in the pavement. Already is use at a number of Pima County intersections, the cameras are used only for traffic management and not for law enforcement.
The cameras are just one of the changes that will help traffic flow more smoothly through the Marana intersections.
Crews have added a lane in each direction on I-10 and on Ina Road west of the freeway. That will allow both to carry more traffic with fewer delays for drivers.
Before work began, Ina Road was at ground level and crossed railroad tracks before traveling below I-10. The new configuration includes bridges carrying Ina Road over the railroad tracks and I-10, eliminating delays when trains move through the area.
A single two-lane bridge over the Santa Cruz River has been replaced with two bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic. The eastbound bridge opened in December 2017 and carries one lane in each direction. The westbound bridge will open this spring.
The city of Marana recently made improvements to Ina Road just east of I-10 to benefit businesses and drivers in the area.
The Ina Road improvements are just the latest in a number of interchange improvements being made along I-10 in the Tucson area Interchanges at Prince Road and Twin Peaks have been improved in recent years. A similar project at Ruthrauff Road is expected to begin by this summer.