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ADOT Invests Over $70 Mil in I-17 Projects


Interstate 17 projects are lifeline to residents in Flagstaff and Prescott

ADOT to invest over $70 million on highway that links northern and central Arizona


PHOENIX – For more than 50 years, Interstate 17 has served as a vital link between the Phoenix metropolitan area and northern Arizona communities, including Flagstaff and Prescott. Since its construction, Arizona’s population has grown exponentially from one million to more than 6.5 million. To keep up with the increased traffic volumes along this heavily-traveled corridor, the Arizona Department of Transportation is investing over $70 million in improvements during the next two years.

A total of seven projects along this four-lane divided highway are either currently under construction or have been approved to break ground later this year. The latest project to be added is the future reconstruction of the Cordes Junction traffic interchange in Yavapai County that links I-17 and State Route 69, approximately 65 miles north of downtown Phoenix. 

At Friday’s (July 15) State Transportation Board meeting, ADOT accepted a bid from Vastco-Sundt to complete the $50.9 million project that will provide a modern interchange with capacity to handle increased traffic in the area. The project is scheduled to be completed in approximately two years. 

Built in the early 1960s, the Cordes Junction traffic interchange now serves 27,500 automobiles on an average day and provides access to Prescott and surrounding communities. ADOT predicts the traffic volume will grow substantially in the next decade. Because it uses an outdated intersection design, local and through traffic are forced to mix, causing congestion and safety concerns. The new diamond-shaped interchange will improve traffic flow and safety, while separating local and highway traffic. 

The outdated loop ramps will be removed, new structures will be built to carry Prescott-bound traffic over I-17, and the roadways will be designed to meet current design standards. Prescott-bound traffic will be separated from Cordes Lakes travelers driving at slower speeds. The existing bridges carrying I-17 over Big Bug Creek will also be replaced and two roundabouts will be built. 

The Cordes Junction traffic interchange is one of several key projects along I-17: 

  • Munds Park traffic interchange, located approximately 20 miles south of Flagstaff, is undergoing a complete reconstruction, including a replacement of two bridges that were built in 1958 with two new bridges measuring 100-feet long (replacing the old 25-feet long bridges). Currently ADOT is removing the northbound bridge and motorists traveling northbound on I-17 have to cross over the median and use the southbound lanes. The work on the northbound bridge will be completed this fall and next spring the southbound bridge will be demolished. The $10 million project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2012. For more information about the project, please visit the ADOT Blog at http://adotblog.blogspot.com.
  • The Little Squaw Creek bridges, located approximately two miles south of Black Canyon City, are currently under construction as crews replace the southbound bridge and resurface the roadway on the northbound bridge. The $3.5 million project is scheduled to be completed this fall.
  • The Airport Road traffic interchange in Flagstaff recently underwent construction to resurface the roadway on the bridge over I-17. Major construction on the $297,000 project was completed at the end of June.
  • Two separate repaving projects along I-17 will improve the roadway for nearly 10 miles on southbound traffic from Munds Park to the Yavapai County line ($2.8 million) and seven miles on northbound traffic from the Stoneman Lake turnoff to Yavapai County line ($3.2 million). Both projects are slated to be completed this fall.
  • A $1.5 million fencing project from Woods Canyon to Munds Park will be under construction in the near future to help reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife.

“Interstate 17 is a priority corridor for the Arizona Department of Transportation,” said Prescott District Engineer Greg Gentsch. “It’s the primary north-south highway between Phoenix and northern Arizona. It supports regional and recreational traffic destined for Grand Canyon, the national forests, the cities of Prescott and Flagstaff, the greater Verde Valley and central Yavapai County, and Native American communities in central and northern Arizona. It crosses some of the roughest terrain in the state and, due to its high elevation and unique geology, we have to dedicate a lot of resources to it.” 

For the latest information about highway conditions across Arizona visit ADOT’s Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1. Visit www.azdot.gov for more information about ADOT.

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  1. T.J., west Sedona says:

    ——-????—–read this & trying to figure out where recall— o hail— REFERENDUM groups passing selves off like saviors of sedona and 89A got $15 million to $25 million sedona adot $$ number —-?????—liars trying to pull off political power grab????—or stupidity—????—-????—or BOTH????? truth always trips up liars if you wait long enough

    T.J.(west sed.)

  2. Traffic Alert for Uptown Sedona says:

    Possible Traffic Delays on North SR 89A This Saturday, July 23 2011, in the Sedona Uptown area during two different public events, the National Day of the Cowboy and the Get Your Pig On BBQ competition. If your travel plans include traveling on North SR 89A through the Sedona uptown area, expect traffic delays due to increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

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