$300 million project on I-17 north of Phoenix aims to reduce congestion
PHOENIX — Tens of thousands of drivers daily travel over the stretch of Interstate 17 north of Phoenix, a load that can lead to backups and hazardous conditions.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning to make that drive less congested by widening 23 miles as part of a $300 million project.
“On busy days, this stretch of Interstate 17 can see more than 50,000 drivers a day – and we want to make sure every one of them gets to their destination safely and without long delays,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release.
A ceremony that included Ducey, ADOT Director John Halikowski and others was held Thursday to present details about the project, which was announced in July.
Fifteen miles of highway between Anthem and Black Canyon City will be widened to three lanes, while an 8-mile system of flex lanes will be added between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.
Construction on the project is set to begin in spring 2021 and be finished by 2023, according to the release.
“What they’ll do is make sure we have traffic flowing during the busiest times,” Halikowski told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
They’re calling it one of the most expansive and innovative highway improvement projects. @ArizonaDOT says the construction project widening one of the most traveled interstates in AZ will start October of 2020. 🚧@KTAR923 pic.twitter.com/McO0RkxHQk
— Ali Vetnar (@Ali_Vetnar) September 26, 2019
Interstate 17 serves as the main thruway between Phoenix and destinations in northern Arizona.
The direction of traffic in the flex lanes will vary based on expected busy times. The lanes are two lanes in one direction.
Ducey pledged $130 million from the 2020 fiscal year executive budget for the project, while the Maricopa Association of Governments chipped in $50 million to support the widening.
In addition, ADOT was awarded a $90 million federal grant for the project in July.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.