Phoenix, Tucson Long-Anticipated ADOT Projects Continue for 2014

courtesy photo ADOT
courtesy photo ADOT

Stagnant revenue, lower-than-expected federal-aid and continued transportation funding shifts have created obstacles for the Arizona Department of Transportation in recent years. Despite the funding challenges, this year the agency will move forward with some long-anticipated projects in metro Phoenix and Tucson, and all across the state to widen existing highways, replace outdated bridges and build new modern traffic interchanges.

All of the projects will be funded with federal and state highway funds, which are collected through gas taxes, vehicle license fees and auto registration fees. In the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, voters have approved supplemental tax revenue that enables more transportation projects to move forward in their respective regions.

The following are ADOT projects continue in Phoenix and Tucson for 2014. For a complete description on each project, please read the entire story on the ADOT Blog.

This year, ADOT will move forward with some long-anticipated projects to widen existing highways, replace outdated bridges and build new modern traffic interchanges.

All of the projects will be funded with federal and state highway funds, which are collected through gas taxes, vehicle license fees and auto registration fees. In the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, voters have approved supplemental tax revenue that enables more transportation projects to move forward in their respective regions.

 Phoenix Area Projects for 2014

The New Year will see continued progress on the construction of the multilevel freeway-to-freeway interchange that will link Interstate 10 with Loop 303 in Goodyear. Drivers in the area have been able to watch crews build sections of elevated ramps that will carry traffic to and from Loop 303 north of I-10 by fall 2014. The $145 million I-10/Loop 303 interchange project also will slightly shift the alignment of I-10 to the north to allow the future connections between the two freeways. Other major projects include adding another lane on the Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) in Scottsdale and a new connection for drivers in southeast Mesa — State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway).

Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) in the Scottsdale area
ADOT is due to start work by fall on a project to add one new lane in each direction along Loop 101 between Shea Boulevard and the Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway). The new lanes will help improve traffic flow along that busy stretch of the Pima Freeway. ADOT also will add a new layer of smooth rubberized asphalt along the project’s entire 10-mile stretch south of Shea to the Red Mountain Freeway.

Loop 303 between Interstate 10 and Grand Avenue (US 60)
The ongoing series of projects to modernize the older two-lane Loop 303 into a six-lane freeway south of Grand Avenue will be completed during 2014. Drivers already are using a dozen miles of new lanes opened by ADOT in the area stretching from Thomas Road north to near Grand Avenue. Improvements this year will concentrate on finishing the project between Camelback Road and Glendale Avenue by summer and completing the $145 million Loop 303/Interstate 10 interchange south of McDowell Road in Goodyear by fall.

Loop 303 between Grand Avenue and Happy Valley Parkway in northwest Valley
A project to widen the current four-lane Loop 303 into a six-lane freeway along a four-mile stretch between Grand Avenue and Happy Valley Parkway in the northwest Valley is expected to start by the fall. Crews also will start work on a new interchange linking Loop 303 and El Mirage Road. A separate project, also scheduled to start by fall, will reconstruct the interchange linking Loop 303 and Grand Avenue. That new interchange will feature ramps traveling below ground level to allow improved connections between the two roadways.

State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway) in southeast Mesa
By spring, ADOT will open the new “freeway-to-freeway interchange” linking the Loop 202 Santan Freeway with the first mile of State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway) in southeast Mesa. The new connections will allow drivers to travel between Loop 202 and Ellsworth Road, providing faster access to areas around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The city of Mesa issued bonds to accelerate the construction schedule for the project by several years.

New Loop 101 HOV-Lane Ramps near Westgate in Glendale
A project that started last October will connect ramps via the Loop 101 HOV lanes to the center of the Maryland Avenue bridge near University of Phoenix Stadium. The new ramps will add access points for the Westgate area, Jobing.com Arena and the stadium. They will be completed this spring, well ahead of the Arizona Cardinals’ 2014 season and Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

Interstate 10 Interchange at Perryville Road in West Valley
Crews will break ground this spring on a project to add on- and off-ramps to provide an I-10 interchange at Perryville Road at the boundary between Goodyear and Buckeye.

Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway
ADOT expects to release the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed South Mountain Freeway later this year, at which time a 60-day public review period will begin. The freeway would run east and west along Pecos Road and then turn north between 55th and 63rd avenues, connecting with I-10 on each end. The South Mountain Freeway is also part of the Regional Transportation Plan funding passed by Maricopa County voters in 2004 through Proposition 400.

 Tucson Area Projects for 2014

The state’s second-largest metropolitan area will see several highway projects move forward in 2014. In early 2014, ADOT will complete work on a major roadway widening project in Tucson that will expand Interstate 10 to four lanes in each direction, while building an overpass so freeway traffic can avoid a busy intersection that is often congested when trains from the Union Pacific Railroad are in use. New projects in the Tucson region include State Route 77 (Oracle Road) widening and the expansion of State Route 86 (Ajo Highway).

Interstate 10 Widening (Ruthrauff to Prince roads in Tucson)
ADOT is nearing completion of a $76.4 million project to widen more than two miles of I-10 between Ruthrauff and Prince roads in Tucson. Major improvements include widening the freeway to four lanes in each direction and reconstructing the Prince Road traffic interchange so Prince Road will pass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and I-10. The project is slated to be completed this spring. This project comes on the heels of a six-mile-long reconstruction and widening project that was completed in 2009 through the downtown Tucson corridor between Prince Road and 29th Street. Once the latest I-10 project is complete, ADOT will have expanded an eight-mile segment of I-10 to four lanes in each direction through the Tucson metro area.

State Route 77 Widening (Tangerine Road to Pinal County Line)
In summer 2014, ADOT will upgrade a six-mile section of SR 77 (Oracle Road) between Tangerine Road and the Pinal County Line from two lanes to three lanes in each direction. Along with widening the roadway, planned improvements include raised medians, traffic signal and drainage improvements, wildlife crossings, sound walls and multiuse paths. The $44 million project is slated to take two years to complete.

State Route 86 (Valencia to Kinney roads)
In late 2014, ADOT is expected to begin construction on expanding SR 86 (Ajo Highway) to two lanes in each direction from Valencia Road to Kinney Road in Pima County, 10 miles west of downtown Tucson. This seven-mile-long, $45 million project in Pima County will enhance safety and improve traffic flow on the highway, which serves as a regional transportation route between Tucson and south-central Arizona. SR 86 provides access to the Tohono O’odham Nation and is widely used to reach the popular tourist destination in Mexico called Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point.

Interstate 10 Realignment/Cienega Creek Bridges (Marsh Station)
Approximately 25 miles east of downtown Tucson, ADOT is nearly completed with a safety improvement project on I-10 that began late in 2012. The $17.2 million project included last spring’s demolition of the old Pantano Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, which now allows most of today’s taller commercial trucks to travel on I-10 and avoid the current 67-mile detour to pass through the area. Other improvements include construction of two new bridges at Cienega Creek that will prevent flooding on the highway, and reconstructing and realigning I-10 to provide a divided median to enhance safety. The project is scheduled for completion this May.

To read complete description on each project as well as other state projects that ADOT continues to work on for 2014, please go to entire story on the ADOT Blog.