Thursday, February 9, 2017

ADOT marks progress on Loop 303/I-10 project in West Valley South half of large interchange due to open in fall




GOODYEAR – With each strand of reinforcing steel put in place and each truckload of earth moved, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s $63 million project to complete a traffic interchange linking Loop 303 with Interstate 10 in the West Valley continues to take shape.

Plans call for the “south half” of the interchange, which includes extending Loop 303 south from Thomas Road to Van Buren Street, to open to traffic by late fall. This work started nearly a year ago.

In all, four new freeway-to-freeway ramps are being built to complete the remaining direct connections between the two freeways. Sections of two elevated ramps rising above I-10 are being built on top of steel falsework, or temporary construction supports.

Crews working on the elevated ramps have been able to limit restrictions for drivers on I-10 thanks to an engineering decision made before the north half of the interchange was opened in 2014. During that earlier work, ADOT also built sections of ramps for the current south half project that are located directly above the interstate. As a result, crews have avoided working directly over busy I-10 traffic while the remaining ramp construction takes place.

Other major work ahead includes opening a new southbound Loop 303 frontage road later this spring to temporarily allow both north- and southbound local traffic to travel through the interchange work zone while remaining construction continues. Crews also will add the concrete pavement for Loop 303 in the area where the future freeway travels beneath I-10 toward Van Buren Street.

Also south of I-10, the Loop 303 bridge over Van Buren Street will be completed this spring to allow east-west traffic on the local street to start traveling beneath the structure. Traffic on Van Buren Street is currently moving through the area on a temporary construction bypass that was put in place last year.

When open to traffic, the new ramps at the Loop 303/I-10 interchange will allow direct connections between the freeway and Cotton Lane south of Van Buren Street. Southbound traffic on Loop 303 will be able to travel beneath I-10 to Cotton Lane rather than being required to exit at Thomas Road. Northbound Cotton Lane traffic approaching Van Buren Street will be able to transition directly onto northbound Loop 303.

Meanwhile, local traffic will also be able to use Cotton Lane between McDowell Road and Van Buren Street in the form of separate north and southbound frontage roads. Interim ramps pointing south from Van Buren Street will allow the connections to or from those Cotton Lane frontage roads.

The interchange construction involves more than transportation improvements. It has also included earthwork to create stormwater basins and a channel to direct excess runoff southward into a new regional flood control system leading to the Gila River.

The Loop 303/I-10 interchange project is part of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan approved by county voters in 2004. Funding sources include a countywide half-cent sales tax for transportation projects and the MAG region’s share of state and federal highway funds.

For more information about the Loop 303/I-10 interchange project visit azdot.gov/Loop303.

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