I-17 101 traffic interchange

I-17 project installing fiber-optic infrastructure wins regional award

I-17 project installing fiber-optic infrastructure wins regional award

September 12, 2023

Effort involved 67 miles between Anthem Way and McGuireville

PHOENIX – An Arizona Department of Transportation project that installed high-speed fiber-optic infrastructure along 67 miles of Interstate 17 between north Phoenix and McGuireville has won a regional award. 

The construction trade publication Engineering News-Record honored the team responsible for the project, including prime contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., with a 2023 Best Projects Award of Merit for the Southwest region in the Specialty Construction category. 

As part of the state’s initiative to bring broadband internet access to more Arizonans, the $20.6 million project completed earlier this year installed conduit and fiber-optic cable between Anthem Way and the McGuireville Rest Area. This work connected and completed a broader project totalling 146 miles of fiber-optic conduit between Van Buren Street in Phoenix and the I-17/I-40 interchange in Flagstaff. Future fiber-optic conduit projects are planned along the length of I-40 through northern Arizona.

ADOT, which designed the winning project in partnership with Kimley-Horn, worked with Kiewit to use innovative micro-trenching technology to install the fiber-optic infrastructure under the asphalt shoulder of I-17. This helped address challenges posed by hard rock next to the highway and deliver the project in a safer, faster and more cost-effective manner with minimal impacts on the public.

Winning projects will be honored in Engineering News-Record’s Oct. 30 issue and at a luncheon in Phoenix on Oct. 31. 

Fiber-optic conduit also has been added along I-19 between the Tucson area and Nogales. These efforts complement a state law that allows private broadband providers to install, operate and maintain telecommunications equipment within ADOT’s right of way using conduit installed along state highways.

In addition to the benefits to rural broadband connectivity, ADOT plans to use the fiber to provide intelligent transportation systems technology, such as overhead message boards, traffic cameras, weather stations and wrong-way driving detection. The infrastructure also will help lay the groundwork for emerging technologies like connected and automated vehicles.

For more information on ADOT’s broadband efforts, please visit azdot.gov/BroadbandClick here to see a map of current and planned fiber-optic conduit routes.