ADOT bringing broadband internet to rural communities in southern Arizona

Arizona Project will lay fiber-optic conduit along I-19 from Tucson to Nogales

Photo of fiber-optic cable being installed along I-19

TUCSON – The Arizona Department of Transportation has begun a project to bring broadband internet access to more of southern Arizona by laying 63 miles of fiber-optic conduit along I-19 from Tucson to Nogales.

The $15 million project began in September and involves crews laying fiber-optic cable along ADOT’s right-of-way for I-19. During the project, drivers can expect occasional lane restrictions, with most of the work only requiring shoulder closures.

No restrictions will take place on weekends and holidays. The project is expected to be completed in early 2023.

In the state’s broadband initiative, championed by Governor Doug Ducey with legislation sponsored by Rep. Regina Cobb, ADOT is partnering with the Arizona Commerce Authority to create more affordable opportunities to provide more rural communities in Arizona with high-speed internet service. ADOT’s role is to provide access to its right-of-way along the four main interstates in Arizona to place fiber-optic conduit for rural internet providers. 

In addition to the benefits to rural broadband connectivity, ADOT plans to use the fiber to provide “smart highway” technology, such as overhead message boards, traffic cameras, weather stations and wrong-way driving detection technology. The infrastructure also will help lay the groundwork for emerging technology like connected and automated vehicles. 

ADOT already has fiber-optic conduit along freeways in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, as well as a stretch of Interstate 10 near Eloy for the dust detection and warning system. 

For more information on the project, visit https://azdot.gov/business/adot-broadband-office/broadband-projects.

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