Pre-construction work begins on the Broadway Curve Improvement Project



During the next 3 1/2 years, an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 10 through Chandler, Tempe and around the Broadway Curve, which carries roughly 300,000 vehicles a day, will be widened in a $777 million project, the largest rebuilding of an existing freeway that Arizona Department of Transportation has ever done. –wranglernews.com file photo

There is about to be grading on the curve, and not just because it is back-to-school time.

A nearly four-year, 11-mile massive rebuilding and widening of Interstate 10, including the headache-inducing Broadway Curve in Tempe, begins this weekend with preliminary work before the bulldozers and graders arrive. Drivers can expect closures and restrictions starting at 3 a.m. Sunday morning at I-10 interchanges near State Route 143/Hohokam Expressway.

A massive Arizona Department of Transportation public-information campaign also begins this week to educate drivers about what to expect with restrictions, closures and best alternate routes.

The $777 million I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project, a partnership among ADOT, Federal Highway Administration and Maricopa Association of Governments, begins just south of Ray Road on Interstate 10 and continues north through West Chandler, South Tempe, Ahwatukee and Guadalupe, and then around the Broadway Curve and west to the I-10 split at Interstate 17 near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“When the first phase of construction begins this summer, drivers should prepare for weekend closures of Interstate 10 and U.S. 60,” said ADOT’S Alexandra Albert. “The reason is that over the weekends we’ll be closing them down to remove rubberized asphalt on all of the travel lanes.”

That is a necessary first step before rebuilding can begin. At least 50 closures are forecast by ADOT on I-10 over the next 3 1/2 years, mostly nights and weekends.

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PRELIMINARY WORK BEGINS AT 3 A.M. SUNDAY, JULY 18

Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for closures in the vicinity of Interstate 10 and State Route 143 while crews work in preparation for the upcoming I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project.

  1. The University Drive on-ramp to southbound State Route 143 will be closed from 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 18, for geotechnical work. Detour: Drivers may travel eastbound on University Drive to 52nd Street, then southbound to Broadway Road and westbound to SR 143/48th Street.
  2. The 40th Street on-ramp to westbound Interstate 10 will be closed from 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 18, for geotechnical work. Detour: Northbound 40th Street drivers may continue northbound on 40th Street to University Drive, then travel westbound to 32nd Street to enter westbound I-10. Southbound 40th Street drivers may continue southbound on 40th Street to Broadway Road, then travel westbound to 32nd Street to enter westbound I-10.
  3. The southbound State Route 143 ramp to westbound Interstate 10 will be closed from 10 p.m. Sunday, July 18, to 4 a.m. Monday, July 19, for barrier installation. Detour: Drivers may travel southbound on 48th Street, then travel westbound on Broadway Road to northbound 40th Street to enter westbound I-10.
  4. The shoulder along the westbound Broadway Road on-ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. Sunday, July 18, to 4 a.m. Monday, July 19, for barrier installation.

More information: 602-501-5505, or i10BroadwayCurve.com, or download free mobile app, TheCurve.

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Now, according to ADOT, is a good time to start looking at other ways to get to Sky Harbor or downtown Phoenix from South Tempe and West Chandler. A good alternate route is Loop 101 north to Loop 202 west.

Those heading to the West Valley and beyond should consider the new Loop 202/South Mountain Freeway.

With all of those alternate routes taking on I-10 traffic, ADOT advises drivers to add about 20 minutes for their trip to the airport and a half hour to downtown.

South Tempe and West Chandler residents also can expect a load of increased traffic on surface streets as drivers pull off of I-10 and scramble to avoid construction delays. ADOT said it will do its best to discourage this by posting preferred alternate routes.

Nearly 300,000 vehicles a day pass through the Broadway Curve. Among the current headaches on the roughly half-mile curved stretch: Vehicles change lanes to the left quickly from westbound U.S. 60 to merge onto westbound I-10, and Sky Harbor-bound traffic on westbound 10 crosses lanes to the right quickly to merge onto State Route 143.

It often is like a rolling blender.

The project, the first major freeway rebuild in the Valley, is funded in part by Maricopa Association of Government’s Proposition 400, a sales tax that was approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004.

The project also includes:

  • Adding a fourth general-purpose lane in each direction on I-10 from Ray Road north to U.S. 60 while retaining the HOV lane. Current overpasses at Ray, Warner, Elliot and Guadalupe roads are wide enough to accommodate the additional lane below and will not need to be rebuilt.
  • I-10 will be expanded to six general-purpose lanes and two HOV lanes in each direction from U.S. 60 through the Broadway Curve west to 24th Street. I-10 bridges over the Salt River will be modified to accommodate the additional lanes.
  • State Route 143 will be expanded to three lanes over the bridge at University Drive, where it currently squeezes down to two lanes before resuming three lanes.
  • State Route 143, Broadway Road and 48th Street interchanges near the airport will be demolished and rebuilt. The new State Route 143 interchange will feature five bridges. Among the new ones are a dedicated HOV-lane bridge over westbound 10 onto northbound 143, a “flyover” bridge from southbound 143 onto southbound 10, and a collector-distributor-lane bridge from northbound 10 onto northbound 143.
  • The project gets a downtown-Los Angeles freeway twist near U.S. 60 with the debut of collector-distributor lanes for westbound drivers entering or exiting I-10 at Baseline Road, U.S. 60, Broadway Road and State Route 143 that separate local traffic from through traffic. That is designed to reduce congestion on the high-speed through lanes and eliminate tight lane changes on the curve. Collector-distributor lanes are new to Arizona. They are freeway lanes connected to the exits for drivers attempting to get on or off of I-10 at those interchanges, an attempt to get exiting traffic off the main lanes of I-10. Through traffic will remain on the main lanes.
  • Alterations on U.S. 60 from Hardy Drive approaching the I-10 interchange.
  • Three pedestrian bridges over I-10 will be constructed south of Broadway.
  • Wrong-way driver detectors with thermal cameras and flashing signs.

Pulice-FNF-Flatiron Joint Venture has been chosen as the preferred developer by representatives of ADOT, Phoenix, Tempe and Maricopa Association of Governments. Key members of the development team include Pulice Construction, Inc., FNF Construction, Inc., Flatiron Constructors, Inc., and T.Y. Lin International.

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