The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant has awarded the Arizona Department of Transportation $90 million in federal highway grant money to help improve and expand Interstate 17 north of Phoenix and the addition of a flex lane system between Black Canyon City and the Sunset Point Rest Area.
The Governor’s Office and the Arizona Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the grant will be used as part of an estimated $320 million project to add lanes on I-17 between Anthem Way and Sunset Point. 23 miles of construction is scheduled to begin by 2021 and be completed in 2023.
“This is exciting news for Arizona and our growing economy,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona’s fiscally conservative, balanced budget made significant investments in our state’s infrastructure. This additional funding will expand Interstate 17 in a critical commerce corridor, helping reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and increase public safety. My thanks to the Arizona Department of Transportation and all of our regional and federal partners for their hard work and advocacy on behalf of Arizona.”
“This is great news for the entire state and in particular for those living in and traveling to northern Arizona,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “I thank all of ADOT’s partners at the local, regional and federal level, including members of our congressional delegation and the Maricopa Association of Governments, for helping us move this much-needed project forward.”
Traffic improvements on the I-17 north is one of the state’s transportation priorities. This section of the highway experiences regularly heavy congestion due to weekend traffic, crashes and disabled vehicles.
This grant will work in conjunction with the recently passed state budget which includes an investment of $130 million in state funds to allow construction of third lanes along the highway between Anthem Way and Black Canyon City as part of the larger I-17 improvement project.
In addition, plans include an additional 8 miles of flex lanes along I-17 north of Black Canyon City. The flex lane will operate as a separate two-lane roadway to carry one direction of traffic at any time depending on the traffic needs. The road will feature movable gates to control access. The flex lane serve the purpose to carry heavier northbound I-17 traffic on a Friday and switch for southbound traffic on a Sunday. In addition, the flex lanes can provide extra lanes in one direction when a road incident requires closure on I-17 between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.
“I-17 plays a key role in moving people and products in Arizona and national commerce between regional and international markets, including Mexico,” Halikowski said. “There are no reasonable alternative routes when traffic on I-17 is impacted. That’s why this is both a state and national priority.”
The awarded grant is being made available through the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Infrastructure Rebuilding America discretionary grant program towards projects that are working to rebuild America’s infrastructure.