Officials to kick off expansion process on I-10 between Phoenix, Casa Grande
PHOENIX — Arizona officials will soon kick off the first leg of a lengthy process in an effort to widen the Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande.
The Maricopa Association of Governments, Gila River Indian Community and Arizona Department of Transportation will start an 18-month evaluation of the highway that will set the ground work for the eventual widening.
The study, according to Maricopa Association of Governments executive director Eric Anderson, will allow officials to identify what specific improvements need to be made to the highway and evaluate the surrounding environment to ensure that those improvements would be possible.
In addition to the additional lanes, Anderson said the improvements could include replacing bridges and upgrading interchanges.
While the study is expected to take 18 months to complete, Anderson stressed that it could take longer, depending on whether officials run into any significant environmental challenges.
But Anderson said drivers should not have to worry too much about the study impacting their travel: The highway was expected to remain open and any temporary closures would likely occur during the overnight hours.
“I-10 is a major highway and extensive highway closures wouldn’t work at all,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The Maricopa Association of Governments has allocated about $65 million for the improvements in Maricopa County, but additional funding will come from Pinal County.
“This is one of the last sections of the I-10 that would need to be widened,” Anderson said. “Everyone is anxious to get it completed and provide better travel conditions.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report.