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Tunnel lighting work to close east-west highway in Arizona this week

PHOENIX — A major east-west highway in Arizona will be shut down for four nights beginning Monday, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

Drivers who travel on US 60 east of Superior will have to take about a 45-minute detour while ADOT completes the installation of LED lighting in the Queen Creek Tunnel.

Peter Corbett with ADOT said the new lighting should improve visibility.

“We’ve installed light-emitting diode (LED), a lighting system that’s easier on the eyes,” he said. “It’s adaptive so that it’s adjusted to the light conditions –daytime or nighttime light conditions — so that when you come in and out of the tunnel, you don’t get that shock in your eyes.”

Corbett said there are a number of benefits to the new lighting.

“LED lights are cheaper to operate, it’s better light, it lasts longer, and saves energy as well,” he said.

An alternate route connecting US 60 to Superior and Globe is along State Route 77 and State Route 177. Motorists headed to the White Mountains region, including Show Low and Springerville, may want to consider taking State Route 87 and State Route 260 through Payson.

Corbett said the closures are from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly and work should be completed by Friday morning.

The project was funded by a $1 million federal grant.

The Queen Creek Tunnel was built in 1952.

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