See the changes happening on I-17 at Central Avenue

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications

I-17 and Central Avenue (May 2020)

If you're a driver whose travel takes you along Interstate 17 near Central Avenue south of downtown Phoenix, you've likely noticed some changes now that bridge resconstruction work has started in that area.

As we told you about a few weeks ago, we have kicked off our project to replace the aging Central Avenue bridge. The new structure will raise the clearance from 14 to 16 feet, which better allows for modern commercial vehicles, trailer-towed construction equipment and the coming Central Avenue light rail extension. That's a slideshow of the beginning of the $13.5 million replacement project you can see to the right. You can also check out the project's page on our website to learn more.

But after this weekend, you'll notice more changes.

Starting tonight,  the southbound freeway will be closed at Seventh Avenue while northbound will be closed between the Interstate 10 "Split" and Seventh Avenue. When it reopens early Monday morning, traffic will have been switched to using just the northbound bridge, so the southbound bridge can be reconsructed. Once that wraps up early next year, traffic will be switched to the southbound structure so the northbound bridge can be similarly improved. While the project continues, outside of other needed closures or restrictions, we will keep two I-17 lanes open in both directions.

But while we are keeping lanes open, drivers should continue to budget extra time if their commutes take them through the work zone. You can also consider using alternate routes, such as I-10 through downtown Phoenix.

The whole project is scheduled to be wrapped up in fall 2021, and we are confident you will notice and appreciate this improvement.