America loves growth and all the economic benefits that come with it, but it’s the departments of transportation that have to manage the growing pains. When cities hit bursts of growth, existing highways have to be widened and expanded, and working on major arteries is often painful for local businesses, residents and traffic control systems.
When Tucson, Arizona, began planning the expansion of its core artery, Interstate 10, by 50 percent, years of planning were required. The original plans had been for a phased approach, using accepted methods of moving traffic first to one side, then the other, and requiring three years to complete. We re-phased the project, closing all entrance and exit ramps and diverting local traffic to frontage roads, which reduced eight phases to five, and shaved almost 20 percent from the planned schedule. We also worked with the state to build an innovative, custom built, 24/7 traffic control center just to manage frontage road traffic and the affected interchanges. In the end, it was smooth moving for Tucson, with the project completing approximately 10 months ahead of schedule.
Arizona Department of Transportation
Interstate 10 Widening