I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT begins first project to bring broadband internet to rural Arizona communities

ADOT begins first project to bring broadband internet to rural Arizona communities

October 12, 2021

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Department of Transportation is starting a project to bring broadband internet access to more Arizonans by laying fiber-optic conduit along a 46-mile stretch of I-17 from Flagstaff to Sedona.

The project begins today as crews start laying fiber-optic conduit along southbound I-17 from milepost 340 in Flagstaff to milepost 296, just south of the junction with SR 179. During the project, drivers can expect right-lane restrictions along southbound I-17 where crews are working. Crews plan to install the fiber-optic conduit in 3-mile stretches at a time. 

No restrictions will be in place on weekends and holidays. The project is anticipated to be completed by summer of 2022.

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 will be 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 azdot.gov/I-17ITSInfrastructure.