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Thursday, October 3, 2013

I-17/SR 89A intersection improvements planned near Flagstaff



There’s a realignment and intersection improvement project in the works near Flagstaff that, when complete, will help eliminate some major backups in the area.

The improvement project is going to realign SR 89A in the vicinity of Fort Tuthill County Park and construct two roundabouts, one at the entrance of the park and the other at the I-17 southbound ramps, to provide a safer transition for traffic through the intersections.

Construction hasn’t started yet. It’s expected that the project will be advertised soon and a contractor will be on board by spring of next year.

You can see in the video why the improvements are needed. Flagstaff District Engineer Audra Merrick explains that the SR 89A/JW Powell Boulevard intersection (which, by the way is also the south entrance to the Fort Tuthill County Park) is very close to another intersection (JW Powell/I-17, which leads to the I-17 southbound ramps).

“Those intersections have a separation of 140 to 150 feet and during peak events at the park, because the park is so close, we can end up with queuing traffic on the I-17 ramps,” Merrick says.

The new roundabout intersections will include bike lanes and sidewalks. The roundabouts will be constructed about 400 feet apart and will be designed to accommodate current and future traffic demand.

What’s happening at the site right now
Before construction can begin, trees in the project area need to be thinned and ADOT is doing that now in anticipation of the project’s start next year.

ADOT is working closely with Coconino County, the city of Flagstaff and the local utility company to save as many trees as possible and will only eliminate trees that are absolutely necessary for the project. The project area will also be reseeded upon completion.

The wood from all those trees will not go to waste … it will definitely be put to good use.

“A lot of the wood from those trees is going to be repurposed,” says Coconino County Community Services Director Janet Regner in the video above, adding that the wood will be utilized for flood control in other areas of the county. It will also go to families in need. They will get some of the wood to use in their fireplaces this winter (it is anticipated that about 150 cords of wood will be donated for families in the area).

More on the project
Traffic restrictions, such as lane closures, will be required during construction. To stay informed on any upcoming restrictions related to this project, please sign up to receive email alerts at azdot.gov.

You’ll also find more about this improvement project on the project webpage.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  I-17, SR-89A, Video
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