I-10

Weekend traffic shift will move forward new I-10 interchange in Tucson

Weekend traffic shift will move forward new I-10 interchange in Tucson

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Weekend traffic shift will move forward new I-10 interchange in Tucson

Weekend traffic shift will move forward new I-10 interchange in Tucson

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications
March 18, 2020

If your daily commute takes you along Interstate 10 in northwest Tucson, get ready to see some big changes to the freeway's configuration by the end of this weekend.

But that will be nothing compared with the even bigger changes that will transform the highway near Ruthrauff Road in the coming year: A decades-old bridge will soon become rubble. Retaining walls will rise up. And half of a new overpass will emerge at the center of a mile-long work zone.

That’s a lot of change to take in as ADOT begins a major phase of the nearly two-year project to rebuild the Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro interchange.

And it all starts with traffic restrictions this weekend. Here’s what to expect ...

On Friday and Saturday nights, crews will work overnight to move traffic away from the current eastbound lanes of I-10. That means shifting westbound I-10 to the westbound frontage road, and eastbound I-10 to the existing westbound lanes.

“That gives us the ability to create a pretty large work zone for that western half of the project, while still maintaining three lanes of traffic in each direction through the project area,” said Dan Casmer, ADOT’s senior resident engineer on the Ruthrauff interchange project.

With traffic out of the work zone, crews will start demolishing the existing eastbound I-10 bridge over Ruthrauff Road by the end of the month. After drainage and other underground utility work is complete, crews will rebuild about a one-mile segment of eastbound I-10.

That will be followed by retaining walls and half of the new Ruthrauff/El Camino del Cerro bridge, probably the most visible signs of progress for drivers.

“They’re going to see a lot of work going on and it’s going to move pretty quickly once we give the contractor that big area to work in,” Casmer said. “You’ll see that demolition happen almost immediately.”

For the rest of this year, the traffic shift will place drivers on a mix of existing pavement and some stretches of new asphalt. While much of that pavement will be temporary, crews took care to fill in dips and avoid jarring bumps.

“We’ve done a lot of prep work so it should be a nice smooth ride,” Casmer said.

You can find more information about the I-10/Ruthrauff Road project, including traffic alerts, at azdot.gov/RuthrauffTI.

Ruthrauff Road set to close at I-10 for two-year interchange project

Ruthrauff Road set to close at I-10 for two-year interchange project

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Ruthrauff Road set to close at I-10 for two-year interchange project

Ruthrauff Road set to close at I-10 for two-year interchange project

February 4, 2020

PHOENIX – Over the weekend beginning the evening of Friday, Feb. 14, the Arizona Department of Transportation will close Ruthrauff Road at Interstate 10 for a two-year project to modernize the interchange serving a growing area of northwest Tucson.

ADOT will maintain access to area businesses throughout this project, which is creating a bridge carrying Ruthrauff Road over both I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks as well as widening the freeway.

“We’re excited to build a safer interchange that also will mean no more traffic delays when trains pass by I-10,” said Rod Lane, ADOT’s Southeast District engineer. “While we understand projects this big can make it challenging for commuters and businesses, we want the community to know customers can still access those companies near the work zone through the entire project.”

ADOT and area officials are working together to maintain a smooth traffic flow at I-10 and Orange Grove, Sunset and Prince roads, the interchanges immediately west and east of Ruthrauff Road. The new Ruthrauff Road overpass is expected to open to cross-traffic by fall 2021, with the interchange ramps opening later in the year.

Utility relocation on the $129 million project began in 2019, and construction began in early January.

Work to close Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro at I-10 is scheduled to begin the evening of Friday, Feb. 14, and continue through the morning of Sunday, Feb. 16. The following closures and restrictions will then be in place:

  • Ruthrauff Road and El Camino del Cerro will be closed to all traffic between Highway Drive/Davis Avenue and the business entrances west of I-10.
  • All ramps between I-10 and Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro will close except for the westbound I-10 off-ramp, which will remain open to provide access to westbound I-10 frontage road businesses only.
  • The eastbound frontage road will be converted to a two-way road south of Sunset Road. There will be no access to El Camino del Cerro from the frontage road.
  • The eastbound frontage road will be converted to a two-way road northwest of Commerce Drive. There will be no access to or from El Camino del Cerro from the frontage road.
  • The westbound frontage road will close northwest of Prince Road.

Other major improvements include:

  • Widening I-10 to four lanes in each direction
  • Widening Ruthrauff Road and El Camino del Cerro to two lanes in each direction near I-10
  • Reconstructing the I-10 frontage roads to connect to the elevated interchange

For more information, please visit azdot.gov/RuthrauffTI.

Ruthrauff Road interchange reconstruction project set to begin

Ruthrauff Road interchange reconstruction project set to begin

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Ruthrauff Road interchange reconstruction project set to begin

Ruthrauff Road interchange reconstruction project set to begin

January 9, 2020

PHOENIX – Though major restrictions aren’t set to begin until late winter or early spring, construction is set to begin Monday, Jan. 13, on an Arizona Department of Transportation project building a new interchange at Interstate 10 and Ruthrauff Road in northwest Tucson.

The completed interchange will reduce delays and improve safety on Ruthrauff Road and on El Camino del Cerro west of I-10 by carrying traffic over the freeway and Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The two-year, $129 million project also will widen the freeway.

While I-10 will remain open throughout, with lane restrictions limited to overnight hours, interchange ramps will close in late winter or early spring and reopen when the project is complete. Ruthrauff Road and El Camino del Cerro will close at I-10 in late winter or early spring and reopen as the project nears completion in late 2021.

“This is an important project for the Tucson area,” said Rod Lane, ADOT’s district engineer for ADOT’s Southcentral District. “The new interchange will allow traffic to move more quickly through the area, and we’re improving safety because drivers will no longer have to cross the railroad tracks.”

The project will be similar to interchange reconstructions in recent years on I-10 at Ina and Prince roads, where the interstate was lowered and overpasses built to separate motorists and the trains that pass daily. As with the other projects, ADOT is adding capacity to I-10 as well.

Other major improvements include:

  • Widening I-10 to four lanes in each direction
  • Widening Ruthrauff Road and El Camino del Cerro to two lanes in each direction near I-10
  • Reconstructing the I-10 frontage roads to connect to the elevated interchange

Drivers should expect intermittent lane restrictions and possible delays in the initial weeks of the project. When the Ruthrauff Road interchange closes in late winter or early spring, alternate routes to I-10 for those on both sides of the freeway include Orange Grove Road to the north and Prince Road to the south. Also to the north of Ruthrauff Road, Sunset Road provides access to I-10 from the west.

Frontage road restrictions will be in place through the project, though ADOT will maintain access to all businesses. To ensure access, the eastbound frontage road south of Sunset Road will be converted to a two-way road during construction.

By springtime, I-10 westbound traffic will shift to the westbound frontage road and eastbound traffic will move to the freeway’s westbound lanes. This will allow crews to demolish the eastbound overpass and rebuild a portion of I-10. In about a year, eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to the new eastbound lanes while the westbound overpass is demolished and crews rebuild westbound I-10.

The new Ruthrauff Road overpass is expected to open to cross-traffic by fall 2021 only, with the interchange ramps opening later in the year.

The project is part of the Regional Transportation Authority’s roadway improvement plan, managed by the Pima Association of Governments.

For more information, go to azdot.gov/RuthrauffTI.

Dust detection system to boost safety on I-10 stretch prone to blowing dust

Dust detection system to boost safety on I-10 stretch prone to blowing dust

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Dust detection system to boost safety on I-10 stretch prone to blowing dust

Dust detection system to boost safety on I-10 stretch prone to blowing dust

November 7, 2019

PHOENIX – When blowing dust reduces visibility along 10 miles of Interstate 10 between Eloy and Picacho Peak, a detection and warning system developed by the Arizona Department of Transportation will quickly tell drivers to reduce speed for safety.

Blowing dust area signADOT is completing installation of sensors, overhead message boards, variable speed limit signs, speed-feedback signs and closed-circuit cameras to create this first-of-its-kind detection and warning system in an area that is prone to sudden dust storms. The prototype system is expected to begin operating in the coming weeks between mileposts 209 and 219.

Those entering this stretch of I-10 already see signs saying Caution: Variable Speed Limit Corridor. This alerts drivers to a key part of the system: programmable signs that can instantly reduce the legal speed limit.

Placed every 1,000 feet for the first mile in each direction and then every 2 miles, the variable speed limit signs can change from 75 mph to as slow as 35 mph when there is blowing dust.

Electronic message boards placed 5 miles apart in the pilot area will alert drivers to blowing dust, while ADOT traffic operators can use overhead message boards on the way toward the dust detection zone to warn drivers of potentially hazardous conditions ahead.

Closed-circuit cameras will allow staff at ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center in Phoenix to see the real-time conditions on the roadway, while in-pavement sensors will report the speed and flow of traffic.

Along with the threat from monsoon storms in the summer and fall, conditions in this stretch of I-10 are such that strong wind any time of the year can suddenly produce localized dust that severely reduces visibility, a phenomenon known as a dust channel.

The warning system also includes weather radar, which will be mounted on a 20-foot tower at the State Route 87 interchange in Eloy, that can detect storms more than 40 miles away. This radar will complement 13 sensors mounted on posts next to the freeway that use beams of light to determine the density of dust particles in the air.

In addition to enhancing safety by providing earlier warnings about blowing dust, this innovative system will advance ADOT’s understanding of whether similar technology can be effective in other locations around Arizona.

The system, costing about $6.5 million, is funded in part by a $54 million federal FASTLANE grant ADOT received for I-10 projects that widened stretches between Eloy and Picacho and between Earley Road and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande to three lanes in each direction. As part of those projects, costing $115 million in all, ADOT improved interchanges at State Route 87 near Eloy and Jimmie Kerr Boulevard in Casa Grande.

Technology can’t replace common sense when it comes to driving into a dust storm. Though drivers will have almost instantaneous warnings about hazardous conditions along these 10 miles, the safest course of action will remain putting off travel if a severe storm is imminent. If caught in a sudden dust storm in or beyond the pilot area, a motorist should pull far off the roadway, turn off lights and remove one’s foot from the brake.

For additional information on dust storms and safety, including what to do if caught in blowing dust, please visit PullAsideStayAlive.org.

On I-10, one plus one equals … six?

On I-10, one plus one equals … six?

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On I-10, one plus one equals … six?

On I-10, one plus one equals … six?

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications
October 18, 2019

Question: Where does one plus one equal six?

Answer: Along Interstate 10 in Casa Grande and between Eloy and Picacho.

ADOT recently opened one additional lane in each direction on a section of Interstate 10 between Picacho and Eloy. That means the highway now features three lanes each way, or what we in the transportation world refer to as a six-lane highway.

That 4-mile, $72 million project includes a new interchange with State Route 87. It’s part of a larger effort to improve capacity and safety on Interstate 10.

The stretch from Picacho to Eloy is the final segment of the interstate between Tucson and Casa Grande upgraded to six-lane highway. It comes soon after a $43 million project to add a third lane to 4 miles I-10 between I-8 and Earley Road in Casa Grande.

Final work will continue through the end of the year on both projects. The most significant feature to come is a first-of-its kind dust detection and warning system along 10 miles of I-10 between Eloy and Picacho Peak.

ADOT is also collaborating with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Gila River Indian Community on an environmental study and a design concept report to look at the final four-lane segment of I-10 between Casa Grande and Chandler. You can read more about that study on i10wildhorsepasscorridor.com

Both directions of I-10 now three lanes all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande

Both directions of I-10 now three lanes all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Both directions of I-10 now three lanes all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande

Both directions of I-10 now three lanes all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande

September 27, 2019

PHOENIX – Interstate 10 is now three lanes in each direction all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande thanks to investments by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The last 4 miles widened to six lanes is part of a $72 million project nearing completion between Eloy and Picacho. That project also has straightened the I-10 alignment in this stretch and created a new interchange with State Route 87, while work is underway to add a first-of-its-kind dust detection and warning system along 10 miles between Eloy and Picacho Peak.

It complements a $43 million project that has widened 4 miles of I-10 between Earley Road and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande and replaced the I-10 bridges over Jimmie Kerr Boulevard to accommodate three lanes in each direction.

Final work on both of these I-10 projects is scheduled for completion later this year. Thanks to these and other ADOT investments in recent years, the 23 miles of I-10 between State Route 387 near Casa Grande and Queen Creek Road near Chandler is the only stretch between Phoenix and Tucson with two lanes in each direction.

For the remaining stretch with two lanes in each direction, ADOT is collaborating with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Gila River Indian Community on an environmental study and a design concept report. Proposed improvements include adding a lane in each direction and improving existing interchanges. While funding for initial improvements is tentatively planned for fiscal year 2023, the study will determine when construction could begin and establish the time frame for improvements.

For more information on the I-10 environmental study, please visit i10wildhorsepasscorridor.com.

Four miles down, four to go on I-10 between Casa Grande and Tucson

Four miles down, four to go on I-10 between Casa Grande and Tucson

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Four miles down, four to go on I-10 between Casa Grande and Tucson

Four miles down, four to go on I-10 between Casa Grande and Tucson

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications
August 26, 2019

The drive between Phoenix and Tucson has gotten a little bit better, and another improvement is just weeks away.

That’s because an ADOT project has provided three lanes in each direction on a 4-mile section of Interstate 10 in Casa Grande, between Earley Road and Interstate 8. Part of that work widened the bridge over Jimmie Kerr Boulevard, which you can see in the Flickr album below.

Soon, the barricades will come up on another 4 miles of the Interstate between Eloy and Picacho. That segment also features a new interchange with State Route 87 and is adding a first-of-its-kind dust detection and warning system along 10 miles of I-10.

With the completion of both projects, ADOT will have transformed all of I-10 from Casa Grande to Tucson into a six-lane freeway thanks to investments through the years.

The final work on both widening projects will wrap up later this year.

I-10 Jimmie Kerr Bridge Completion 082219

ADOT replacing two bridge decks over I-10 southeast of Tucson

ADOT replacing two bridge decks over I-10 southeast of Tucson

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT replacing two bridge decks over I-10 southeast of Tucson

ADOT replacing two bridge decks over I-10 southeast of Tucson

August 19, 2019

PHOENIX – Drivers who use Interstate 10 in the Vail area during nighttime and early morning hours should budget extra travel time for approximately two weeks starting Wednesday, Aug. 21. Lane restrictions are needed for an Arizona Department of Transportation project to replace two bridge decks spanning the freeway southeast of Tucson.

Bridges at the State Route 83 and Colossal Cave/Wentworth Road interchanges will be upgraded during this project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2020. Crews will begin with the SR 83 bridge and then move to Colossal Cave/Wentworth Road.

I-10 will be reduced to one lane in each direction overnight near State Route 83 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Wednesday evening. A 45 mph speed limit will be in place in the work zone. The restrictions will allow crews to construct a temporary bypass in the interstate median.

Starting in early September, the SR 83 bridge over I-10 is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane with traffic controlled by a signal. In addition, overnight bridge closures will be required at certain points during this project.

For more information and to subscribe to receive project updates, please visit azdot.gov/VailBridges.

Real-time highway conditions and restrictions for improvement projects are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Four more miles of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson now three lanes

Four more miles of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson now three lanes

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Four more miles of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson now three lanes

Four more miles of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson now three lanes

August 15, 2019

PHOENIX – A 4-mile stretch of Interstate 10 in Casa Grande now offers three lanes in each direction, moving the Arizona Department of Transportation ever closer to its goal of expanding to six-lane freeway all the way between Tucson and Phoenix.

The $43 million widening project nearing completion between Earley Road and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande also replaced the I-10 bridges over Jimmie Kerr Boulevard to accommodate three lanes in each direction.

This complements a $72 million project widening 4 miles of I-10 to three lanes in each direction between Eloy and Picacho. That work, which is nearing completion, is creating new travel lanes to replace what was a curving stretch, has built a new interchange with State Route 87 and is creating a first-of-its-kind dust detection zone on 10 miles between Eloy and Picacho Peak.

Final work on both of these I-10 widening projects is scheduled for completion later this year. Thanks to these and other ADOT investments in recent years, the 23 miles of I-10 crossing the Gila River Indian Community between State Route 387 near Casa Grande and Queen Creek Road near Chandler will soon be the only stretch between Phoenix and Tucson with two lanes in each direction.

For the remaining stretch with two lanes in each direction, ADOT is collaborating with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Gila River Indian Community on a design concept report and environmental study on adding a lane in each direction and improving existing interchanges. While funding for initial improvements is tentatively planned for fiscal year 2023, the study will determine when construction would begin and establish the time frame for improvements.

VIDEO: The logistics of a concrete deck pour

VIDEO: The logistics of a concrete deck pour

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VIDEO: The logistics of a concrete deck pour

VIDEO: The logistics of a concrete deck pour

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications
July 12, 2019

Chances are if you don't work in highway construction you haven't spent that much time thinking about what goes into pouring a concrete deck for new bridges.

But if you've ever been curious at all, our video team recently put together this look at everything that goes into creating a new bridge deck, using footage mostly shot during recent work on an expanded Interstate 10 bridge over Jimmie Kerr Boulevard in Casa Grande.

Tidbits included in this video include the temperature that concrete needs to be kept at before being poured and exactly how much concrete can go into such a large project. There's a lot of logistics and planning that goes into these sorts of projects, so take a few moments to see what exactly goes into this type of work.

This project, which will expand I-10 to three lanes in each direction between Early Road and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande, along with similar work near Eloy, is expected to wrap up later this summer.