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Tempe to begin downtown road construction project

PHOENIX — Expect some delays in downtown Tempe as the city begins two roadway construction projects.

One of the projects will take place on Hardy Drive between University Drive and Broadway Road beginning on March 24 — and continuing until January 2015 — while the other will be on University Drive between Ash Avenue and Priest Drive — beginning in April and continuing until September.

Principal Planner Eric Iverson said the work should help improve pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities along the roads.

“The intent of the project and the elements of the construction that we are including in the projects are to make them stronger multi-modal streets,” he said.

One of the upgrades will include a protected bike lane on Hardy Drive, Iverson said.

“The bike lane raises up to the sidewalk level. It is separated from the pedestrian sidewalk facility, but it is at the same height or level as the sidewalk,” he said.

The Hardy Drive construction project is being funded by a federal grant of $1.8 million, and the University Drive project is fueled by $1.65 million in federal grant money. The Tempe Transit Tax Fund will also pay a required 5 percent matching fund.

Iverson said while the roads may be restricted during the construction process, the city does not expect any road closures.