I-17 101 traffic interchange

Bell/Grand project nears milestone of reopening Bell Road

Bell/Grand project nears milestone of reopening Bell Road

November 14, 2016

SURPRISE ‒ An overpass carrying Bell Road across Grand Avenue is set to open Tuesday, Nov. 22, after seven-plus months of construction on a $41.9 million traffic interchange.

Reopening Bell Road is the first reward of an accelerated timeline designed to have most of the Arizona Department of Transportation project finished before the holiday shopping season and all work done by the start of spring training baseball.

The interchange will eliminate delays caused by trains using the BNSF Railway tracks along Grand Avenue and keep Grand Avenue free-flowing. It also creates a much more useful and appealing intersection.

 After reopening Bell Road, the rest of the work will primarily be completing ramps connecting Bell Road with Grand Avenue and completing lanes that will carry eastbound Grand Avenue traffic.

ADOT met extensively with city officials, business owners and other stakeholders to develop a project and timeline that supported businesses and the community even before the final payoff of a modern interchange.

"We know how important it is for commerce in the area to have both of these roadways function well," said Dallas Hammit, ADOT’s state engineer and deputy director for transportation. "That’s why we worked closely with the community to create a project that supports businesses and improves the quality of life in Surprise."

In addition to the faster construction timeline made possible by the Bell Road closure that began April 1, putting on- and off-ramps in the middle of the interchange created a smaller footprint that has minimized the project’s impact on nearby businesses. A convenient detour route has allowed motorists to reach businesses on both sides of the project throughout.

 "With teamwork and careful planning, we were able to maintain access to the Bell/Grand business district throughout this very important project, and our community responded by continuing to shop this area," Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott said. "The reopening of Bell Road is the perfect kickoff to the holiday shopping season!"

Motorists connecting from Grand Avenue to Bell Road can continue using Dysart and Litchfield roads. Those using Grand Avenue also can continue accessing stores and restaurants just west of the construction area using Town Center Drive and Bell Grand Drive.

The Bell/Grand project is funded as part of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan approved by county voters in 2004. Funding sources include a countywide half-cent sales tax for transportation projects and the MAG region’s share of state and federal highway funds.