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ADOT to use $1M grant to upgrade US 60 tunnel east of Phoenix

PHOENIX — A more than 60-year-old tunnel near Superior, Ariz. will soon receive a major upgrade thanks to some federal dollars.

The Arizona Department of Transportation was recently awarded a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration that will be used to upgrade lighting in the Queen Creek Tunnel on US 60, according to spokesman Dustin Krugel.

“This new lighting system will be an LED lighting system, which will be the first of its kind in Arizona,” he said.

Krugel said the upgrades will make the lighting inside the tunnel better and more responsive to driver needs.

“It’s going to include what we call an adaptive control system, so the lighting level is going to adjust depending upon what the light is and what the weather conditions are outside of the tunnel,” he said.

The upgrade will also help reduce maintenance time and cost, Krugel said.

“The maintenance cost on this is not going to be nearly as much,” he said. “Every time you have to replace a light bulb in the tunnel, you have to have a lane closure and then that also causes traffic delays for motorists.”

The grant money will not cover the entire cost of the project, which is estimated to be about $3.8 million.
Krugel said ADOT will begin working on raising the other $2.8 million needed and expects to begin the project sometime in 2015.

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