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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ADOT Year in Review, part 2

Many transportation projects were underway in 2013. Yesterday we looked back to the not-at-all-distant past and gave an overview of some of the milestones that occurred on Phoenix-area freeways in 2013…

Today, we hope you’re ready for even more reminiscing because we’re at it again. Let’s focus on the rest of Arizona and some of the transportation accomplishments that took place on the state highway system last year.

US 89 Landslide
Who could forget the US 89 landslide? It happened the morning of Feb. 20 on US 89 along a mountain slope about 25 miles south of Page.

The early photos and videos that ADOT posted on social media definitely gained a lot of interest. This video, shot the day of the landslide, has earned nearly 52,000 views. And, remember this blurry photo that was posted on the ADOT Facebook page? It was shared 3,508 times.

The significant roadway damage caused by the landslide forced ADOT to close the highway between Bitter Springs and Page. Immediately after the landslide, ADOT established detours for drivers to connect to Page and southern Utah. ADOT also opened a field office in Page to address the community’s concerns regarding the closure of the highway. ADOT conducted a geotechnical investigation to determine the exact cause of the damage and set forth a long-term strategy to restore US 89. ADOT is scheduled to start construction on repairs in mid-2014 if there are no environmental or right-of-way hurdles.

US 89 Detour: From Navajo Route 20 to US 89T
Following the US 89 landslide, ADOT initially established an alternate route along US 160 and SR 98; however, the 115-mile-long route created a heavy burden for drivers because of the distance. ADOT worked with the Navajo Nation, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Highway Administration to find a better solution until the repairs on US 89 were complete. The solution included a $35 million paving project on Navajo Route 20 and temporarily adopting the roadway into the state highway system as US 89T. The expedited project was finished only three months after breaking ground, an impressive feat considering the 44-mile-long tribal route was primarily a dirt road before work began in late May. After completing the paving of US 89T in late August, the detour route travel time was cut in nearly half on a roadway similar in length to the closed US 89 route.  

I-10 Widening in Tucson
Continuing an effort to expand Interstate 10 through Tucson, ADOT made progress on a $76.4 million improvement project to widen the interstate to four lanes in each direction between Ruthrauff and Prince roads, while also reconstructing the Prince Road traffic interchange to pass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and I-10. In June 2013, ADOT moved traffic onto the new eastbound I-10 exit ramp at Prince and the frontage road between Commerce Drive and Prince Road, and in the fall, ADOT installed the final bridge span that will carry Prince Road traffic over, instead of across, the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The project is on schedule to be completed in spring 2014.

Interstate 17/State Route 69 Cordes Junction Traffic Interchange
This summer, ADOT completed a $50 million makeover of the traffic interchange at Cordes Junction at Interstate 17 and SR 69. The original design, built in the 1960s, was outdated and no longer met the demands of increased traffic volume. The project included construction of two new roundabouts, a flyover bridge carrying high-speed traffic over I-17 toward Prescott, a new overpass (Arcosanti Road) and new bridges. The project also included vibrant colors and designs on the bridge abutments created by the late Paolo Soleri, founder of the nearby Arcosanti community.

State Route 260 Widening through Doubtful Canyon
In fall 2013, ADOT completed a $29 million widening project on State Route 260 approximately 20 miles east of Payson in Gila County. The project, which began in November 2010, upgraded a three-mile section to a four-lane divided highway and is the fifth of six projects designed to widen the highway from Star Valley to the Mogollon Rim.

Interstate 10 Cienega Creek Bridge Demolition
In 2013, ADOT demolished the old eastbound and westbound Interstate 10 bridges over Cienega Creek, as well as the old Union Pacific Railroad bridge over I-10. ADOT also constructed the new westbound I-10 roadway alignment and the westbound I-10 bridge over Cienega Creek. Major strides were taken in late 2013 to reconstruct the eastbound I-10 roadway alignment and construct the new eastbound I-10 bridge over Cienega Creek. The $17.6 million project will provide safer, updated roadway in the region.

More to come…
Wow, last year was a busy one for ADOT and we haven’t even mentioned everything that happened in 2013, including several planning studies and safety campaigns. We think we’re going to need at least one more day to recap the year that was!
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  2013, Year-in-Review
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