Weekend I-10 closure - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Weekend I-10 closure

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Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2011 5:00 pm

Many of us don’t think about freeway closures until we’re stuck in one. We’ve all been there — creeping along, worrying about being late and wishing we’d known in advance so we could’ve planned better. That’s why I’m alerting everyone who lives, works, shops and plays in Ahwatukee Foothills and the surrounding communities to plan for this weekend’s closure of eastbound Interstate 10 in our neck of the woods.

Why? In addition to being an Arizona Department of Transportation employee, I’m one of your neighbors. Like you, I’ll feel the impact when ADOT closes eastbound I-10 between US 60 (Superstition Freeway) and the Loop 202 (Santan Freeway/Pecos Road) from 10 p.m. Friday (Sept. 30) to 3 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 1). The on-ramps at U.S. 60, Baseline, Elliot, Warner and Ray roads and Chandler Boulevard also will be closed.

This is necessary so crews can safely replace three massive sign structures that span the interstate travel lanes. Crews will also install larger, easier-to-read overhead signs. It’s a huge job that involves no less than 18 ‘round-the-clock workers, four cranes and a dozen, 500-pound aluminum signs.

Because the 6 miles between US 60 and Loop 202/Pecos Road are important to all of us, it’s crucial to think about how we’ll get around when they’re unavailable. The detour calls for drivers to exit eastbound I-10 at eastbound US 60 and use US 60 to southbound Loop 101 (Price Freeway) to westbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway).

We suggest you avoid driving in the area until I-10 re-opens. If you can’t, then use an alternate route, expect heavy delays and plan extra travel time. Check the ADOT website at www.azdot.gov and click on the “I-10 Travel Alert” icon for complete details. Also, consider these travel tips:

• Returning to the southeast Valley from southern California? Use Interstate 8 to Casa Grande. Then use westbound I-10 to access local streets or Loop 202 (Santan Freeway).

• To access homes and businesses south of US 60, use eastbound US 60 to southbound Loop 101 (Price Freeway) to westbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) to westbound I-10.

• To access eastbound I-10 from Ahwatukee, use 40th Street to Pecos Road. From Gilbert, Chandler or Tempe, use westbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway).

• To access the Southeast Valley from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, use Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) to southbound Loop 101 (Price Freeway).

• Keep in mind that the eastbound I-10 Broadway Road/48th Street exit is the last one before all traffic must exit at US 60.

This sign project is being done in conjunction with the project to add 12 miles of high-occupancy vehicle lanes in both directions to the Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) between I-10 and Gilbert Road. With completion scheduled for Oct. 9, we’ll all enjoy the benefits of the new HOV lanes.

Having worked on the project for the past year, I can tell you that ADOT and its contractors worked diligently to minimize impacts to the public, and sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience.

Kimberly Noetzel has been an Ahwatukee Foothills resident since 2004 and is a senior community relations officer for the Arizona Department of Transportation. To contact ADOT about this or other freeway projects, email ValleyFreeways@azdot.gov or call the Project Hotline at 1-855-712-8530.

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