PHOENIX ‒ The Arizona Department of Transportation is teaming with Freeport-McMoRan to realign US 191 near the company’s Morenci mine and create a tunnel that will keep mine trucks and private vehicles safely apart while moving mine vehicles more efficiently.
For the next three months, drivers on US 191 will use a gravel bypass road that will allow for construction of a new tunnel and two-lane road near milepost 171.
When the work is complete in December, drivers on US 191 will use the tunnel to move past some of the mine’s operations while trucks hauling material will drive over the tunnel. That will eliminate the need for drivers on US 191 to stop for trucks from the mine crossing the road.
Drivers will use a gravel bypass road for a distance of about one mile until late 2018. Delays of up to 30 minutes are possible during construction. Final work, including chip-seal and striping, will take place in spring 2019 when temperatures warm to levels needed for that work.
Freeport-McMoRan is paying the $3.5 million cost, including about $1 million for a precast tunnel.
For more about this project, visit the project website: www.azdot.gov/US191Morenci