I-10

A drone's-eye view of our I-10 widening project in Eloy

A drone's-eye view of our I-10 widening project in Eloy

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A drone's-eye view of our I-10 widening project in Eloy

A drone's-eye view of our I-10 widening project in Eloy

September 28, 2018

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

Driving along Interstate 10, about halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, you can see that’s something happening off to the east side of the freeway at State Route 87.

Here’s a better perspective. John Dougherty, ADOT’s newly FAA-certified drone pilot, shot this amazing video to capture the whole project from above.

In less than 10 months, crews have built nearly 4 miles of what will become the new westbound lanes of I-10, bridges over both nearby railroad tracks and the future alignment of I-10, freeway ramps and more.

When the work is done about one year from now, drivers will have six new lanes of I-10, a wider new interchange with SR 87 and a dust-detection zone, the first of its kind on US freeways.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 4, SR 87 will close between I-10 and Milligan Road so we can continue work on the new section of SR 87 and complete the new interchange. The closure is expected to continue until mid-December. Drivers can exit I-10 at Sunshine Boulevard and take Casa Grande-Picacho Highway to SR 87. There are no restrictions on I-10.

I-10, SR 87 interchange closing temporarily for widening project

I-10, SR 87 interchange closing temporarily for widening project

I-17 101 traffic interchange

I-10, SR 87 interchange closing temporarily for widening project

I-10, SR 87 interchange closing temporarily for widening project

September 27, 2018

PHOENIX – State Route 87 will close at Interstate 10 in Eloy the first week of October so crews can complete a new interchange and connect SR 87 with the new westbound lanes being constructed for a wider I-10.

By the time the interchange opens in mid-December, drivers in both directions of I-10 will be using the new pavement that eventually will become the new westbound lanes of I-10.

The work is part of a three-part project to widen and realign I-10, build the new interchange and develop a first-of-its-kind dust detection zone. The new alignment will be between mileposts 209 and 213, with the dust detection zone running from milepost 209 to 219.

The closure, which runs from Milligan Road to I-10, is scheduled to begin Thursday, Oct. 4, and continue through Dec. 14. Drivers can use Sunshine Boulevard (exit 208) and Casa Grande-Picacho Highway to connect between I-10 and SR 87.

Before the closure, crews are scheduled to pour concrete to form the decks of bridges that are part of the new interchange.

The closure will allow construction crews to complete work on the interchange, including a new alignment of SR 87. Once that work is complete, first westbound traffic and then eastbound drivers will be moved off the current I-10 alignment and onto the new pavement.

In early 2019, workers will build the new eastbound lanes and connect them to I-10. The existing travel lanes on I-10 in the area will be demolished.

The project is about 10 miles from a second effort to widen I-10. In Casa Grande, ADOT is widening I-10 from I-8 to Earley Road (mileposts 196-200) by adding a lane in each direction in the median. When both projects are completed by early fall 2019, I-10 will be a six-lane freeway from the north side of Casa Grande to Tucson.

Home stretch for improvements at I-10 and Ina Road in Marana

Home stretch for improvements at I-10 and Ina Road in Marana

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Home stretch for improvements at I-10 and Ina Road in Marana

Home stretch for improvements at I-10 and Ina Road in Marana

September 10, 2018

PHOENIX – As drivers on Interstate 10 pass Ina Road in Marana, they have a clear view of a blank space in the middle of a new bridge that soon will carry Ina Road traffic over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

That small space – where the exit and entrance ramps to westbound I-10 will connect with Ina – is the last major piece in a two-year project to improve traffic flow and driver safety in northwest Pima County.

September marks the start of the final six months on a project that began in February 2017, with completion scheduled by early March.

ADOT is overseeing $128 million in improvements, which are funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority. The town of Marana is contributing $7.9 million toward the cost of the new bridges over the Santa Cruz River west of I-10.

Crews are primarily finishing work that has already started, including creating a new westbound Ina Road bridge over the Santa Cruz River. Girders were put in place earlier this summer, and the concrete deck is set to be poured overnight Thursday and Friday, Sept. 13-14. The eastbound bridge at Ina Road will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. both nights for the deck pour on the westbound bridge.

wb-scrb-pre-deck-pour
The westbound Ina Road bridge is expected to open to traffic in January. The eastbound Ina Road bridge, opened in late 2017, is temporarily carrying both directions of traffic.

East of I-10, crews are beginning to work on curbs, gutters and sidewalks before paving begins on Ina Road. The bridge over I-10 is scheduled to open in early 2019. About that time, westbound traffic on I-10 will be moved to new lanes that are currently under construction.

Before work began, Ina Road crossed under I-10, and drivers frequently had to stop for passing freight trains. After completion, Ina Road will cross over I-10 and the railroad tracks. Both Ina Road and I-10 will have an additional lane in each direction to accommodate increasing traffic, with Ina Road improvements reaching west across the Santa Cruz River to Silverbell Road.

The improvements are designed to keep pace with growth in the Marana area while reducing congestion on Cortaro Road.

After work is complete at Ina Road, a similar project is scheduled to begin at Ruthrauff Road. That project will include widening I-10 to four lanes, widening Ruthrauff to two lanes in each direction and building a bridge to carry Ruthrauff over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.  Ruthrauff will be closed at I-10 throughout the 24-month project.

I-10 narrowed to one lane at night this week near 59th Avenue

I-10 narrowed to one lane at night this week near 59th Avenue

I-17 101 traffic interchange

I-10 narrowed to one lane at night this week near 59th Avenue

I-10 narrowed to one lane at night this week near 59th Avenue

September 9, 2018

PHOENIX – Motorists who use Interstate 10 at night in west Phoenix should allow extra travel time or consider alternate routes due to restrictions near 59th Avenue, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Crews will continue construction of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway interchange. I-10 will be narrowed to one lane overnight as follows:

  • Eastbound I-10 narrowed to one lane near 59th Avenue from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday through Tuesday nights, Sept. 9-11, for bridge construction.
  • Westbound I-10 narrowed to one lane near 59th Avenue beginning from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights, Sept. 10-13, for bridge construction.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions will occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site ataz511.gov or call 511.

Transportation Defined: Pier caps cap piers

Transportation Defined: Pier caps cap piers

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Transportation Defined: Pier caps cap piers

Transportation Defined: Pier caps cap piers

September 7, 2018

Pier Caps

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications

If you’ve driven Interstate 10 in Casa Grande recently, then you probably noticed work going on to expand the freeway to three lanes in each direction near Interstate 8. That includes expanding bridges carrying I-10 over Jimmie Kerr Boulevard and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Next year cars will use the larger bridge on a wider I-10 without giving much thought to the engineering behind it. But for now they can see the new vertical supports known as piers capped by what are known as – wait for it – pier caps. Pier caps creating the horizontal section in the picture above will eventually support bridge girders.

Erin Kline, an engineer on the project, explained the role these vertical concrete beams will eventually play.

“Pier caps transfer the loads from the superstructure to the piers. They hold the bridge girders on bearing pads and disperse the loads from the bearings to the piers. Bridges with piers will all have pier caps to transfer the load from the superstructure. I would say majority of the bridges in Arizona are like this,” Kline said.

We’ll have more to say about the anatomy of this project moving forward. For now you can read more about the coming improvements at the project's website.


Transportation Defined is a series of explanatory blog posts designed to define the things you see on your everyday commute. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see explained...leave a comment here on the blog or over on our Facebook page!

Signaling a commitment to southeast Pima County

Signaling a commitment to southeast Pima County

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Signaling a commitment to southeast Pima County

Signaling a commitment to southeast Pima County

July 25, 2018

Tucson project Map

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

From the time Interstate 10 arrived in Tucson in 1965, we've worked to make sure the freeway kept pace with Pima County’s growth.

Growth in southeast Pima County is translating into more vehicles on I-10. Since 2012, average daily traffic on I-10 at Kolb Road has increased by nearly 20 percent to almost 50,000 vehicles each day.

That’s the reason behind the work we’ll be doing for the next seven months where I-10 meets Rita, Wilmot and Kolb roads. We’re replacing stop signs at the end of each exit ramp with traffic signals that will move traffic more efficiently on and off the freeway and reduce delays when you’re trying to get home at the end of a workday. We’re also adding lanes on the eastbound exit and westbound on ramps at Rita Road.

That’s not all. Two years from now we will rebuild the traffic interchange at Houghton Road with a diverging diamond design. It’s safer and moves traffic more efficiently than traditional interchanges.

Right now we’re adding a new surface to the bridge at Wilmot Road to make it last for years to come, just as we did at Craycroft Road last year. We’re using a temporary bridge to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction and avoid delays.

As this area of Pima County grows, we're right there with you.

Ramp traffic signals at three Tucson interchanges will improve traffic flow

Ramp traffic signals at three Tucson interchanges will improve traffic flow

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Ramp traffic signals at three Tucson interchanges will improve traffic flow

Ramp traffic signals at three Tucson interchanges will improve traffic flow

July 20, 2018

TUCSON – Drivers in southeast Tucson will have an easier time getting on and off Interstate 10 after the Arizona Department of Transportation completes work to replace exit ramp stop signs with traffic signals at three interchanges.

Preliminary work – including foundations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks and paving – has already begun at the Wilmot Road interchange at I-10. Once that work is complete in mid-August, work will begin at Kolb Road, and from October through December crews will work at Rita Road. Additional lanes are planned for the Rita Road eastbound exit and westbound entrance ramps.

The signals will improve traffic flow in the area and reduce delays at the end of the freeway exit ramps, especially during morning and evening rush hours.

Growth in the area has led to higher traffic volumes at all three locations. From 2012 to 2017, I-10 traffic counts increased by 18 percent at Kolb Road, 17 percent at Wilmot Road and 13 percent at Rita Road. Average daily traffic on I-10 ranges from nearly 49,000 vehicles per day at Kolb Road to almost 39,000 vehicles per day at Rita Road.

Final work on this $1.75 million project, including fencing, signage and striping, is expected to be finished by late February.

By the numbers: Santa Cruz River bridge on Ina Road

By the numbers: Santa Cruz River bridge on Ina Road

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By the numbers: Santa Cruz River bridge on Ina Road

By the numbers: Santa Cruz River bridge on Ina Road

June 26, 2018

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

If you stand at the east end of the Ina Road bridge over the Santa Cruz River in Marana, it looks like the bridge goes on forever.

That’s not quite true, but the bridge that should begin handling traffic by the end of the year is longer than most in Arizona. It’s 640 feet long – more than the length of two football fields – and longer than the longest home run in major league history (Babe Ruth hit one 575 feet back in 1921).

ADOT crews put girders in place for the new westbound bridge in mid-May. The structure is almost identical to one we built in 2017 that eventually will carry two lanes of eastbound traffic toward Interstate 10 about a half-mile away.

Here are more numbers when it comes to the Santa Cruz River bridges:

  • With the help of a crane and some very strong ropes, we placed 54 girders to support the bridge.
  • There are nine piers holding up those 54 girders.
  • Six girders, running the same direction as the bridge, rest on each pier.
  • Each girder weighs 45,000 pounds, or about 22.5 tons.
  • Combined, that’s 2.43 million pounds – 1,215 tons – of girders ready to support the roadway that will cross the bridge.

The next big step: Pouring the deck and superstructure of the bridge later this year. That will involve pouring 946 cubic yards of cement. At 2 tons per cubic yard, we’ll be pouring, smoothing, curing and striping nearly 1,900 tons of concrete for this bridge alone.

Looking at the bridge from below reveals that the girders curve upward just a bit. That’s to allow each to drop down just a little when the deck is poured into place.

ADOT is overseeing a $128 million project creating a modern traffic interchange that includes a bridge carrying Ina Road traffic over Interstate 10. We're also widening the interstate and making Ina Road two lanes in each direction west of I-10. The project remains on track for completion in early 2019.

The town of Marana is contributing $7.9 million toward the cost of the Santa Cruz River bridges and the rest of the funding is from the Federal Highway Administration, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority.

 

Throwback Thursday: Paving Central Avenue atop the Papago Freeway tunnel

Throwback Thursday: Paving Central Avenue atop the Papago Freeway tunnel

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Throwback Thursday: Paving Central Avenue atop the Papago Freeway tunnel

Throwback Thursday: Paving Central Avenue atop the Papago Freeway tunnel

June 14, 2018

Central Avenue Bridge 1989

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications

This vintage photo shows construction of the final piece of Interstate 10 through a series of bridges near downtown Phoenix.

Snapped in 1989, the picture captures crews paving Central Avenue atop the Papago Freeway Tunnel, better known as the Deck Park Tunnel.

Today, the mighty half mile of I-10 carries hundreds of thousands of vehicles daily under Margaret T. Hance Park next to the Burton Barr Central Library.

Finished in 1990, it was celebrated as the last piece of freeway needed to complete the I-10 in its 2,500-mile entirety between Santa Monica, California, and Jacksonville, Florida.

The photographer who captured the paving also snapped a slice of Phoenix life. The picture, looking south near Portland Street, was taken in the same year that the elder George Bush was elected president, the Berlin Wall fell and NASA launched the Galileo spacecraft.

Residents arriving after this ADOT project may not recognize Central Avenue. There have been significant additions in the ensuing years, not the least of which is the Valley Metro light-rail line.

Many of today’s buildings, however, were present in 1989. Then as now, the Westward Ho building can be seen on the west side of Central – on the southern end of the picture – towering over its shorter neighbors.

The first building on the right, once the site of the Lexington Hotel, was built in the 1970s and now houses the artsy FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel at the corner of Central and Portland.

The tunnel has become such an integral part of Phoenix that it may surprise some to learn that it’s not really a tunnel. The freeway actually travels under 19 side-by-side bridges.

Placing bridge girders: Now that's a heavy lift

Placing bridge girders: Now that's a heavy lift

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Placing bridge girders: Now that's a heavy lift

Placing bridge girders: Now that's a heavy lift

June 7, 2018
I-10/SR 87 Improvements: Girder Installation (June 2018)

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

The last time you went to the gym, how much weight did you lift? More than 100 pounds? 200?

More than 75 tons, anyone?

Those building a new bridge connecting Interstate 10 and State Route 87 in Eloy didn’t really lift 20 tons, of course. But 30 feet above the ground today, as two cranes lifted huge girders into place, these professionals, securely perched atop bridge piers, made sure these 145-foot girders landed in just the right spot.

And they repeated the process over and over, as shown in the slideshow above.

Precision may be difficult with a heavy girder, but it’s essential. There needs to be the right number of girders across each pier to support the bridge deck and traffic over decades. And each girder must allow room for the one that will connect to the next pier.

Today marks six months since crews began clearing ground for new lanes of I-10 and the new interchange with SR 87. Placing girders on the bridge is another visible sign that work is continuing on schedule.

The project is creating six new lanes of I-10 that will connect with the existing freeway just west and a few miles east of SR 87. Traffic will be moved to the new pavement as soon as this fall, with the entire project scheduled for completion by fall 2019. After this project and another in Casa Grande are complete, I-10 will be three lanes in each direction all the way between Casa Grande and the east side of Tucson.