Diamond grinding set for additional sections of Loop 101

Closures, lane restrictions needed over next several months

PHOENIX – Sections of Loop 101 in the Tempe, Scottsdale and north Phoenix areas will be restricted at times in the coming months for work to smooth the freeway’s concrete pavement.

Diamond grinding, which involves the use of specialized machines with diamond-tipped blades on rotating drums, is designed to smooth concrete pavement while also creating grooves to limit vehicle tire noise. The process has been used this year to replace older, worn sections of rubberized asphalt along Loop 101 Price Freeway south of US 60 and Loop 202 Santan Freeway east of Interstate 10 in the East Valley. 

The Arizona Department of Transportation is extending the use of diamond grinding on Loop 101 between US 60 and Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in Tempe as well as Loop 101 where the freeway is being widened between Interstate 17 and Princess Drive.

Upcoming restrictions for diamond grinding are scheduled as follows:

  • Southbound Loop 101 (Price Freeway) closed between Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) in Tempe and Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) in Chandler from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday (Aug. 3). Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) ramps to southbound Loop 101 closed. US 60 (Superstition Freeway) ramps to southbound Loop 101 closed. Southbound alternate routes include Dobson Road and McClintock Drive.
  • Eastbound Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) closed between Cave Creek Road and Tatum Boulevard from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday (Aug. 3). Northbound State Route 51 ramp to eastbound Loop 101 closed. Eastbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Seventh Street closed. Cave Creek Road closed in both directions at Loop 101.
  • Northbound Loop 101 (Price Freeway) narrowed to three lanes between Baseline Road and Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday (Aug. 3). Both US 60 ramps to northbound Loop 101 closed. Northbound Loop 101 on- and off-ramps between Guadalupe Road and University Drive closed. Westbound US 60 on-ramp at Dobson Road closed. Northbound alternate routes include Price frontage road, Dobson Road or McClintock Drive.

ADOT is expanding its use of diamond grinding in partnership with the Maricopa Association of Governments, the Phoenix region’s freeway planning agency. As part of this effort, ADOT will research different pavement surfaces, life cycle costs and efforts to limit noise along regional freeways.

Much of the region’s urban freeway system is covered with a 1-inch top layer of noise-reducing rubberized asphalt, with a majority of sections extended beyond their anticipated 10 year service life. As a result, ADOT and MAG have faced decisions about long-term costs associated with pavement wear over time, including whether to resurface a freeway with rubberized asphalt or use an alternative surface treatment such as diamond grinding.