ADOT’s goal of widening of I-17 north of Anthem moved a step forward Friday (June 17) when the State Transportation Board approved a five-year plan that includes funding for design and construction.
North Phoenix News reported the project proposal in February, before it had received any significant funding and prior to public hearings. While planning is still underway, the idea is to lessen backups and reduce accidents.
ADOT aims to widen I-17 to three lanes north of Anthem Way, where the interstate currently narrows to two, plus build “reversible lanes” on the crash-prone 8-mile grade between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.
The agency’s longer-term goal is to widen I-17 to three lanes all the way to Flagstaff, ADOT spokesperson Doug Nintzel said in February. But that project would require separate approval and funding down the road.
Accidents on I-17 between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point:
The newly approved plan, for 2018-2022, would improve and expand nearly two dozen stretches of roadway throughout the state, including many on Interstate 10 and the Loop 101 in Maricopa County.
For the I-17 widening, the new budget approval sets aside $15 million for design work in 2019, and $178 million for the widening project, to be spent in 2021 and 2022. The funding includes $128 million from ADOT and $50 million from the Maricopa Association of Governments.
“Connectivity and reliability are crucial for an ever-expanding state highway system like Arizona’s, especially as the population continues to grow and businesses choose to relocate here,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Projects in ADOT’s Five-Year Construction Program will help move people, goods and services, generate commerce and economic activity through investments in major freight and travel corridors, and deliver on the agency’s commitment to not only maintain but improve the quality of pavement, bridges and other infrastructure.”
Interstate 10, State Route 189 and US 93 will all see capacity improvements over the next five years, according to an ADOT statement.
Funding for these projects come primarily through gas and diesel fuel taxes and vehicle license tax. Maricopa and Pima counties contribute revenue generated by voter-approved sales tax increases, ADOT said.
Recent I-17 Closures North of Anthem
May 27: Vehicle Fire Causes 25-Mile I-17 Backup: Sunset Point to Anthem