By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications
There will be no Waterford crystal coming to rest as the clock approaches midnight on Friday. No all-night parties (as far as I know). No Auld Lang Syne.
But make no mistake: July 1 is New Year’s Day 2018. Arizona’s new fiscal year begins at the stroke of midnight.
And it’s going to be a very busy year in Pinal County, at least for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Four major projects
will begin in the next few months, with a dramatic effect not only on Pinal County but on the motorists and commercial truckers who drive through the county on their way to, from and through Phoenix and Tucson.
In Maricopa, we’ll begin work this fall on a bridge
(see the animation above) that will help drivers avoid waiting as dozens of trains cross State Route 347 every day. The two-year project will open up traffic in the area but will be built for at least the first year with little or no disruption to traffic on SR 347.
About 30 miles to the southeast, we’re now advertising for bids to build two important projects on Interstate 10 near Eloy. The first will widen a four-mile section of I-10
to six lanes and rebuild the interchange with State Route 87, an important route to Coolidge, Florence and the center of the county. At the same time, in almost the same place, ADOT crews will begin creating a first-of-its-kind dust detection and alert system
that is designed to help protect drivers from dust storms in the spot where there are more dust-related crashes than anyplace in Arizona. Both projects will take about two years to complete.
And just as the rest of the world is celebrating that other New Year’s Eve, we’ll begin work to widen another I-10 stretch north of Interstate 8. That will mean every inch of I-10’s key commerce corridor
between the Casa Grande and Tucson areas will be six lanes by 2021.
There are big highway projects all across Arizona, all of them important. But with these four projects alone, ADOT is providing an economic boost over the next few years in Arizona’s third most-populous county. It’s going to be a very good year.