ADOT

Find Your Lane: ADOT to Introduce Collector-Distributor Roads in the I-10 Broadway Curve Area

Find Your Lane: ADOT to Introduce Collector-Distributor Roads in the I-10 Broadway Curve Area

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Find Your Lane: ADOT to Introduce Collector-Distributor Roads in the I-10 Broadway Curve Area

Find Your Lane: ADOT to Introduce Collector-Distributor Roads in the I-10 Broadway Curve Area

By the I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project Team
June 18, 2024
A rendering of an urban freeway.

We’ve made a lot of changes in the I-10 Broadway Curve area during the past few years of construction – but perhaps the biggest changes are coming this summer with the introduction of the new Collector-Distributor (CD) roads along I-10 in both directions between 40th Street and Baseline Road.

And as these CD roads may take some getting used to, we want to provide a brief overview of how they work, so take note!

If you need to get on or off I-10 in either direction in the Broadway Curve area (I-10 between Baseline Road and 40th Street), your route will change.

You may need to exit the freeway earlier or find yourself on a longer ramp to enter or exit I-10 depending on your destination within the Broadway Curve area. These longer exit and entrance ramps are known as Collector-Distributor roads. As their name suggests, the CD roads will collect traffic from the I-10 mainline, State Route 143 and US 60 and distribute it to the CD roads.

For example, westbound I-10 drivers heading to SR 143 will exit I-10 south of Baseline Road to enter the westbound CD road, which eliminates the need for them to merge right in the same area where drivers from US 60 are entering westbound I-10.

Because three freeways converge in this small section of I-10 within the Broadway Curve area, traffic currently backs up when people slow down to transition from one freeway to another.

The idea of the CD roads is to keep the mainline I-10 lanes – or lanes that are for drivers traveling through the area – free from that weaving  by drivers changing lanes to enter or exit the freeway.

For the visual-inclined, we invite you to check out this animation showing how CD roads will work once they open to the public.

The westbound CD road will be almost three miles long, located along westbound I-10 from Baseline Road to 40th Street and is generally three lanes. The eastbound CD road will be just over one and a half miles long, runs along eastbound I-10 from 48th Street to Baseline Road and is generally two lanes.

There will be signage to guide drivers to the correct lanes based on their destinations. Also, there are no traffic signals or stop signs on the CD roads and the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. The roads are not accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Remember it’s important for your safety and the safety of other drivers that you obey the speed limit and avoid distractions while driving on the CD roads.

The westbound CD road is scheduled to begin opening to drivers in early Summer 2024, while the eastbound CD road is scheduled to begin opening in late Summer 2024.

As the CD roads begin to open to motorists, construction on the I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project will continue through early 2025, which means there may be times when the CD roads or the I-10 mainline are restricted for construction activities. You can find the latest traffic restrictions on the Project Website or for more information on the I-10 CD roads, visit i10broadwaycurve.com/findyourlane.

It’s a grand reopening for ADOT’s Fredonia commercial port of entry

It’s a grand reopening for ADOT’s Fredonia commercial port of entry

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It’s a grand reopening for ADOT’s Fredonia commercial port of entry

It’s a grand reopening for ADOT’s Fredonia commercial port of entry

By Steve Elliott / ADOT Communications
May 12, 2024
Group in front of Fredonia Port of Entry

Visitors to the Town of Fredonia in far northern Arizona may see tongue-in-cheek bumper stickers saying, “Fredonia, AZ: Center of the Universe.” 

It might seem light years away from much of Arizona due to its location at the farthest edge of the Arizona Strip next to Utah, but Fredonia is smack in the middle of wonders such as the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Zion National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and much more. It’s lovely in its own right as well, set along US 89A and beneath layer cake cliffs so common in the area. 

And as of Wednesday, Fredonia is home once again to a full-time Arizona Department of Transportation commercial port of entry. The photo above is from the port’s grand reopening ceremony held by ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division (ECD), whose mission includes ensuring that commercial vehicles are safe to operate on Arizona highways. 

The Fredonia Port of Entry opened in 1964 due to highway use by trucks serving the agricultural, logging and mining industries. It was originally staffed by four civilian agents. ADOT closed it in 2008 amid the nation’s economic downturn, though since 2022 ECD officers have been conducting commercial vehicle details there about once a week. 

On Wednesday, with statistics pointing to the need for a regular presence,  ADOT invited the community to celebrate the Fredonia Port of Entry’s reopening. It’s another way ADOT is safely connecting people and empowering Arizona’s economy and the economy in and around the great Town of Fredonia. 

Moving Mountains: Rock blasting now complete for the I-17 Improvement Project

Moving Mountains: Rock blasting now complete for the I-17 Improvement Project

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Moving Mountains: Rock blasting now complete for the I-17 Improvement Project

Moving Mountains: Rock blasting now complete for the I-17 Improvement Project

By Laura Douglas / ADOT Communications
May 8, 2024
Rock covers a highway after rock blasting.

If your summer road trip will take you along Interstate 17 north of the Phoenix metro area, you’ll notice that the landscape looks a lot different these days. Entire sections of the mountainsides have been removed through controlled rock blasting, and this major earthwork operation is now complete.

This tremendous effort was necessary to make way for the additional lanes from Anthem Way to Sunset Point. That includes 15 miles of widening and 8 miles of flex lanes along the entire 23-mile I-17 Improvement Project corridor.

Controlled rock blasting began in December 2022 and required full closures of I-17 in both directions to keep everyone safe, including the traveling public. Because I-17 is such a heavily traveled highway, blasting took place at 10 p.m. during the weeknights and involved a very tight schedule. Crews had just one hour to close the highway, carry out the blasting operation, clear the debris, and then reopen the highway.

The team conducted a total of 62 blasts at seven different locations along the project corridor over the course of a year. That’s far less than the initial estimate of 120 blasts. In many circumstances, crews were instead able to “rip” or excavate rock in certain areas using heavy equipment. Ripping is the preferred method of rock removal because it lessens the impacts on traffic. Areas where the rock material was too hard to be ripped needed to be blasted instead.

Approximately 177,000 cubic yards of rock and material was removed during the blasting process, then hauled to another area of the project to be reincorporated into the new roadway. A large portion of the blasted material is crushed and then used as aggregate base, embankment and rock mulch along the 23 miles of new lanes. The construction team is using everything that is removed by putting it back into the project. 

For those of you who want to see what the blasting operations looked like, we’ve got you covered. Check out this highlight reel set to music and this extended version, which includes all of the blasts.

The entire 23-mile stretch between Anthem Way and Sunset Point remains under construction throughout 2024 and into 2025, as the new lanes are constructed and paved and a dozen bridges are either widened or replaced. The 15 miles of new lanes between Anthem Way and Black Canyon City are expected to open by the end of 2024, and the eight miles of flex lanes between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point are expected to open in 2025.

To learn more about the I-17 Improvement Project, visit Improvingi17.com

 

Can Can Blast with Logo from ADOT Vimeo-External on Vimeo.

Adopt a Highway: Young volunteers achieve goals and inspire litter-free highways

Adopt a Highway: Young volunteers achieve goals and inspire litter-free highways

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Adopt a Highway: Young volunteers achieve goals and inspire litter-free highways

Adopt a Highway: Young volunteers achieve goals and inspire litter-free highways

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
April 30, 2024
A girl wearing an orange reflective vest poses while picking up litter near a highway.

Among 9,000 ADOT volunteers are leaders ages 12 through 17. Adopt a Highway volunteer groups may include kids within this age range to participate in a roadside cleanups with the written consent from a parent or guardian.

Janice Rogers recently adopted an area off of the Loop 202 in Mesa and dedicated it to an achievement of 12-year-old daughter Brynlee, who was awarded the title Little Miss AZ Earth in the 2023 Junior Ambassador program of the Miss Earth USA program.

Rogers said, “As part of that title, she has been learning more about the environment and how to get involved.”

Brynlee asked if she could clean up her drive to school, which prompted Rogers to contact the ADOT about helping to keep Arizona highways clean and litter-free. Rogers said, “We have already cleaned up four bags of trash and we only got about half of our assigned area complete!”

The mother and daughter team jumped at the chance to get involved recently in a special ADOT hosted Arizona Volunteer Week/Earth Day cleanup event held Apr. 22 near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

In north Phoenix, Ridgeline Academy High School teacher Melodee Olson had contacted ADOT about adopting a 2-mile segment along SR 74 as an activity for honor students. The National Honor Society requires students to participate in service to their community, school or other organization. The time spent working on related projects contributes towards the student’s yearly service hour requirements.

Olson organized the school’s first Adopt a Highway event last year on National CleanUp Day. After the event Olson said, “We had 22 volunteers who showed up for the cleanup, and I believe that we collected about 20 bags of rubbish on the north side of the highway alone.”

ADOT applauds these young influencers and their supporters. We appreciate learning about your cleanup event stories and sharing your smiles with our readers.

Hundreds of miles of Arizona roadsides are waiting patiently for kind people to adopt them. Please visit Adopt a Highway Volunteer Program to take the first step in your volunteer journey.

Disability parking placards are now ready for the Arizona heat

Disability parking placards are now ready for the Arizona heat

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Disability parking placards are now ready for the Arizona heat

Disability parking placards are now ready for the Arizona heat

By Bill Lamoreaux / ADOT Communications
April 29, 2024
An intact disability placard and a worn and torn disability placard.

Permanent and temporary disability placards are even more prepared for summer heat thanks to improvements from the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division. 

Anyone that has been in Arizona during the summer, especially southern Arizona, knows the power of the sun. Sunburns can happen in about 11 minutes, burning your hands and legs just  trying to drive your car after it’s been in the sun for only a few minutes and don’t even think about leaving any items in the car for any amount of time. You will come back to a melted mess in your car. In that light, the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division has improved the durability of permanent and temporary disability placards that actually do stay in vehicles 24/7. 

These changes are not easily noticed, but include the use of a more durable material, a revised design, and a more streamlined production process.  

Both the temporary and permanent disability parking placards are now using a durable synthetic poly material called Revlar. Testing was conducted for two years prior to roll out and results showed that Revlar is resistant to UV damage caused by extended exposure to the heat and sun. This ensures the placards will not fade, curl or become brittle like the previously pre-printed PVC placards.

While the revised design of the placards may look very similar, revisions to the layout and strategic placement of the variable customer data are helping display the placards to better assist law enforcement in identifying the placards more easily.

Production and distribution for the placards have also undergone a change with the preprinted placards no longer being distributed to each office location. Instead, they are now produced and mailed directly to the customer on demand. This eliminates time and excessive inventory required to stock offices. The daily batch of placards are printed, inserted and ready for mailing in about an hour. Customers are typically receiving their placards in three to six days from their request date. 

For more information about the disability parking placards, please visit the ADOT website.

Adopt a Highway: Arizona Volunteer Week

Adopt a Highway: Arizona Volunteer Week

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Adopt a Highway: Arizona Volunteer Week

Adopt a Highway: Arizona Volunteer Week

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
April 23, 2024
A group of volunteers pick up litter near a highway.

What better time to express gratitude to volunteers than during Arizona Volunteer Week, Apr. 21-27, along with thousands of dedicated individuals who strengthen Arizona communities through volunteering.

ADOT appreciates the nearly 9,000 Adopt a Highway volunteers who picked up 15,000 bags of trash along Arizona’s roadways in 2023. These individuals gave more than 22,000 hours of personal time and resources to promote a clean environment and help reduce litter.

In fact, all travelers can support our volunteers and contribute to cleaner roadways by stashing trash in vehicles, and securing truck loads. 

With the monsoon season approaching, it is especially important that we remind everyone that trash is a big problem in clogging our drainage systems and polluting stormwater. We need our pump stations and drainage grates to work efficiently to remove water from the freeways. Fast-food wrappers, plastic bags, soft drink cups and other items tossed out the window on the highway could contribute to roadway flooding.

Volunteers, thank you for choosing Adopt a Highway as one of the many options available for individuals to get involved in something greater than themselves. We appreciate your actions that help keep Arizona grand year-round.

Please visit the Adopt a Highway website if you are interested in adopting a highway near your community. We welcome you!

Adopt a Highway April 22, 2024

Calculating pi to the 50th digit on Pi Day

Calculating pi to the 50th digit on Pi Day

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Calculating pi to the 50th digit on Pi Day

Calculating pi to the 50th digit on Pi Day

By Doug Pacey / ADOT Communications
March 14, 2024
Pi symbol in front of a mountainous landscape.

It’s Pi day – March 14 – and to mark this mathematical March moment, we collected images of numbered highway signs to calculate pi to the 50th digit and turned it into a video.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Arizona DOT (@arizona_dot)

I-17 Improvement Project using foam glass aggregate as a new innovative construction material

I-17 Improvement Project using foam glass aggregate as a new innovative construction material

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I-17 Improvement Project using foam glass aggregate as a new innovative construction material

I-17 Improvement Project using foam glass aggregate as a new innovative construction material

By Laura Douglas / ADOT Communications
March 6, 2024
Foam glass in a person's hand.

If you’ve driven along the I-17 Improvement Project corridor between Anthem Way and Sunset Point, you may have seen many large white bags in the middle of all the ongoing construction work.

White bags with foam glass.The bags are filled with Ultra-Lightweight Foam Glass Aggregate. This unique material, which is made from 100 percent recycled glass, is being used at 19 locations throughout the project corridor. This recent video gives you an up-close look at foam glass and how it’s incorporated into the I-17 Improvement Project.

Because this is a strong, lightweight and waterproof material, the foam glass will be used primarily to help strengthen the existing box culverts, which are concrete structures designed to channel water. The culverts were originally designed to withstand the weight of a two-lane roadway. The foam glass is used as fill material to support the weight of the additional lanes along the 23-mile stretch of I-17 that will include both widening and flex lanes

The foam glass is manufactured in Florida and this is the first time it’s being used in Arizona. Foam glass is made by crushing recycled glass into a powder and mixing it with a foaming agent. The mixed powder is then sent through a kiln and softened. During this process, the foaming agent creates bubbles within the softened glass, which in turn creates the foam glass, an inert, non-leaching, rot-resistant, non-flammable, durable construction material.

Foam glass is not only an innovative material for construction, it’s sustainable and environmentally responsible as well. 

To learn more about the I-17 Improvement Project, visit Improvingi17.com

A graphic showing how foam glass aggregate is used in a highway construction project.

 

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer from a family of engineers

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer from a family of engineers

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National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer from a family of engineers

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer from a family of engineers

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications
February 22, 2024
A man in an orange reflective gear stands in a construction area.

During National Engineers Week, we’re asking engineers on some of ADOT’s projects to talk about their work and careers. Let us introduce you to Resident Engineer Chris Page, who directly oversees our Interstate 10 widening project in the northwest Tucson area.

What sparked your interest in engineering?

I grew up in a family of engineers. My father and brother are both mechanical engineers. So my interest took off from watching what they were doing when I was young. I originally started off in college with a plan to major in aerospace or mechanical engineering. But as I have always been more of an outdoors person and have a hard time being in one place all day, I decided to change to civil engineering in hopes of being able to do more field work. While I was in college, the widening of I-10 through downtown Tucson was going on, and I had the "pleasure" of driving through it every day to and from college. But as I watched the work taking place, I developed an interest in civil engineering and specifically construction. Little did I know that I would end up working for ADOT several years later and eventually managing similar projects.

What steps have you taken as your career at ADOT has advanced?

When I was in college, I was looking for an internship related to engineering so that I could gain more real world experience. I ended up taking on an internship in traffic engineering at a local government. I had no specific interest in traffic engineering, but at that time I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my specific career path. After graduation I spent a short time working for a contractor, then a full-time position opened up in traffic engineering again with the local government agency. After spending a few years there, I had the opportunity to apply for a position at ADOT in traffic engineering. I knew that ADOT had more opportunities to advance and also learn different aspects of transportation engineering. After about a year, I got my Professional Engineer license, and a resident engineer position opened up. I ended up really enjoying construction management, as it really encompasses all aspects of civil engineering. From there the rest is history as they say.

What responsibilities does a Senior Resident Engineer have at ADOT?

There are so many hats a resident engineer wears. One side of the coin is management of employees, including hiring, training, culture management, etc. The other side of the coin is the construction management aspect. Essentially, the resident engineer is responsible for ensuring the safety of the public through our construction projects, ensuring that the contractors are compensated fairly for the work while also being accountable to taxpayers, and ensuring the project is built to a high standard of quality. We also spend quite a bit of time reviewing plans for upcoming projects, and incorporating any lessons learned on past projects to make things more efficient and cost effective in the future. We also participate in advocating for changes to the contracts and specifications to alleviate any issues that we have encountered in the past.

The I-10 Ina to Ruthrauff project in the Tucson area has been under construction for almost a year. What are your specific responsibilities now?

The northwest side of Tucson where this project is located is constantly expanding and growing in population. This makes for a very precarious location to try to widen a freeway and replace/build nine bridges. So I spend a good amount of time ensuring that the traffic control is properly set up and adequate, and that emergency responders are always aware of the continuously changing conditions. Traffic control through a complex area such as this is not "set it and forget it," but rather is always evolving. On a similar note, I work with the contractor to ensure that the project is kept as close to the original schedule as possible. The sooner we can get the freeway to max capacity, the better for the traveling public.

What does working for ADOT mean to you, and what advice would you have for young people considering a career in transportation engineering?

My advice for someone considering a career in transportation engineering, or any field really, is to find something you can be passionate about. Most careers have the same ingredients: meetings, emails, negotiations, conflict management, etc.  But if you can find a field you are passionate about, you will not grow tired of mixing those ingredients on a daily basis to solve problems. For me, I am passionate about public safety and public service. Right now I am working on a project with over 100,000 vehicles per day traveling through. That is a lot of people that we impact positively or negatively.  If I can go home at the end of the day knowing that I helped to get them home safely to their families (and hopefully a little quicker than before), then I have done my job well.

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer with the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River Project

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer with the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River Project

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National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer with the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River Project

National Engineers Week: Meeting an engineer with the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River Project

By Luis Carlos Lopez / ADOT Communications
February 21, 2024
A man sits in a chair in front a desk with computer monitors in an office.

Where we are going, we need safe roads.

Here at ADOT, we love to celebrate National Engineers Week. It serves as a gentle reminder to highlight and recognize the importance that engineers play in building Arizona's roads and keeping everyone safe. 

It is in that spirit that we highlight one of our very own talented civil engineers, Robby Richards III.

Richards, who has been with ADOT for a decade, began his career as transportation intern in 2013. Now, he is the Resident Engineer for ADOT’s Santan Field office. He oversees a number of projects, including the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River Project, which is expected to kick off this spring. 

Reflecting on his career as an engineer, Richards noted that success is defined simply by effort.

“You get out what you put into this,” he says, sitting in his office in Chandler. “The great thing about this job and working at ADOT is that we get to problem solve and work together as a team. The things we do impact the transportation facilities that people use every day, such as bridges, roads and highways.”

Richards says he fell in love with construction at a young age. He attended Arizona State University for Construction Engineering. While enrolled at ASU, he earned a bachelor's and a master's degree and was part of ADOT’s Engineers in Training program from 2017-2019.

"Robby has come up through the ADOT system. That continuity has given him great professional insight to all the ins-and-outs of this industry,” said Dan Richmond, an ADOT Materials Coordinator.

“He is also a pragmatic leader who leads with empathy, curiosity and compassion,” Richmond added.

As he reflected on Engineer’s Week, Richards emphasized that aspiring engineers should find an exciting place to work that offers growth opportunities and access to mentorship.

“Engineering is a tight-knit community. You find people who are passionate about doing good work,” Richards said. “For those who want to be engineers, find people who want to teach you and mentor you. Now, I get a chance to help those who are coming up behind me. I make it my goal to make ADOT a place where young minds get excited about coming to work everyday.”