Paving work begins on the I-17 Improvement Project

Paving work begins on the I-17 Improvement Project

By Laura Douglas / ADOT Communications
August 21, 2023
Layers pavement on a roadway.

If you’ve driven on I-17 near Anthem Way during the last few weeks, you may have noticed that the I-17 Improvement Project has hit a significant milestone. As work continues on the 23-mile stretch between Anthem Way and Sunset Point, crews have started paving what will become the new additional travel lanes in the southern portion of the project. 

Segment 1, which runs between Anthem Way and Table Mesa Road, is the first portion of the project where paving work is underway. Check out our videos here and here. One additional travel lane is being added in both directions of I-17 from Anthem Way to Black Canyon City, and the beginning of those new lanes is now visible to those traveling through the project corridor. 

The paving process takes more than a year to complete because it requires four different layers, along with the appropriate weather windows. Crews start with the subgrade, followed by aggregate base, then asphalt pavement, and finally, the top layer of asphalt (the “friction course”), which is the layer that motorists drive on. 

The unique thing about the paving on the I-17 Improvement Project is that a majority of the aggregate base, the second layer in the paving “layer cake,” is made up of earth material and rock removed from the project corridor by controlled rock blasting and other means. All the material loosened during blasting is taken to the crusher in the northern portion of the project and crushed down into aggregate base. 

While it may appear that the new lanes at Anthem Way are paved and ready to go, there still is much work to be done to complete those four layers. The beginning of the paving process is a major step and takes time. The 15 miles of new lanes between Anthem Way and Black Canyon City are expected to be completed and open to traffic in late 2024. The eight miles of flex lanes between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point are the last portion of the project and are expected to open to traffic in 2025.

For more information about the I-17 Improvement Project, visit

A graphic contsing the the four levels of paving: Subgrade, Aggregate Base, Asphalt, and Friction Course.

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