Time to get started on a new bridge over I-17 near Flagstaff’s airport

Time to get started on a new bridge over I-17 near Flagstaff’s airport

By Doug Nintzel / ADOT Communications
April 10, 2024
A map of a project area.

In spring a young engineer’s fancy turns to replacing an overpass in the high country. With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, I’ll also admit that our engineer may not be all that young but he or she does want to get going on a new bridge over I-17 near Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport.

As it turns out, the arrival of warmer spring weather has brought us April’s launch of ADOT’s $8.2 million project to put a new, modern bridge in place that will carry J.W. Powell Boulevard over I-17 a few miles south of the I-40 interchange.

The work will be done in stages. It will first focus on building a new bridge directly south of the existing, older structure. The current bridge will continue to carry vehicles on J.W. Powell Boulevard over I-17 during construction. It won’t be removed until after the contractor is ready to switch traffic to the new structure.

ADOT’s team is working to finish the project by late this year, if weather permits.

If you have plans to travel in that area, here are a few things to know about planned restrictions along I-17 or J.W. Powell Boulevard. Most of the bridge work will take place from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 a.m. to noon on Fridays. That schedule was arranged to limit impacts on those of us planning weekend getaways to and from Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and other area destinations. Work also is not planned on the Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day holidays.

During times when any significant overnight restrictions, including closures, are needed along I-17, highway traffic will detour along the off- and on-ramps at J.W. Powell Boulevard.

It also should be noted that pedestrians and cyclists cannot use J.W. Powell Boulevard to cross over I-17 now that construction is underway. But there are convenient alternate routes.

Traffic also will continue to use the twin roundabouts west of the current bridge during construction, although roundabout approaches within the interchange will be realigned to fit with the location of the new bridge. Drivers should stay alert to construction activities, slow down and watch for flag crews who at times will be directing traffic.

Need to know more about this project? Visit here to learn more. And we want you to know you can subscribe here (at no charge) to receive email alerts about this project and more.

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