ADOT seeks opinions as it studies future of I-17 corridor

Map of 1-17 in Phoenix with study area highlighted

If you regularly drive I-17 between the Maricopa Traffic Interchange (the Split) and Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) in north Phoenix , you probably already realize the freeway is operating at (or near) total capacity.

Now, just try to imagine what traffic will be like on that stretch by 2035!

That’s when the average daily traffic demand is projected to be 370,000 vehicles per day. Compare that to the numbers from 2008 when traffic volumes estimated by ADOT showed roughly 210,000 vehicles driving between the I-10 “stack” interchange and Bell Road each day.

Not only will there be more cars on the road in the future, but the average trip time within the corridor is anticipated to increase by 23 percent, which amounts to an additional hour of afternoon peak drive time between the Split and Loop 101, if no capacity improvements are made!

The I-17 Corridor Improvement Study is currently evaluating potential improvements that will help future I-17 congestion in Phoenix .

Although ADOT has not made any decisions yet, there are three alternatives being studied – two build options and one no-build alternative.

You’ll be asked your thoughts on the current alternatives under consideration, which include:

  • Five general-purpose lanes and an HOV lane in each direction – plus auxiliary (merge) lanes and frontage roads.

  • An express/local option with either three or four express lanes and an HOV lane on the I-17 mainline in each direction – plus auxiliary (merge) lanes and frontage roads. (In this option, access to/from express lanes would be limited. Local lanes would provide full freeway access at existing I-17 interchange locations.)

  • Constructing no improvements (the “no-build” alternative).

Surveys and any submitted comments are due Oct. 31, 2011 to be considered in the evaluation of these preliminary alternatives.

Don’t forget … we’re currently in the planning process, but plan to go back out to the public in 2012 with a final set of alternatives and draft environmental documents. ADOT will continue to engage the public throughout. Be sure to sign up for email updates to be the first to get I-17 news.