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Highway near Phoenix to shut down nightly for work on tunnel

(ADOT Photo)

PHOENIX — A tunnel on a highway just outside of Phoenix will be closed every night this week while crews put the finishing touches on a project.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said the Queen Creek Tunnel on U.S. 60 east of Superior was closed in both directions Monday night and would be shut down daily from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. through Friday.

The 5-mile stretch of highway is between Superior and Oak Flat.

The tunnel has recently been outfitted with energy-efficient LED lighting and now the walls and ceiling require a good cleaning.

ADOT said the new lighting system will cut down on maintenance and improve visibility in the tunnel, which was built in 1952.

The system will adjust the lighting level based on ambient light and weather conditions.

Drivers can take an alternate route along State Route 77 and State Route 177 to reach U.S. 60 in Superior and Globe.

Drivers headed to the White Mountains region, including Show Low and Springerville, could take State Route 87 and State Route 260 through Payson.

The department received a $1 million federal grant in 2014 to help pay for the project.

The tunnel is the first in the state to be equipped with an LED system.

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