Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I-17 Improvements - Progress Update per ADOT

I had the opportunity today to attend a presentation from Tim Tait with ADOT. He was nice enough to meet with a group of real estate agents and tell us how the I-17 project north of the Loop 101 is going, what the plan is going forward, when each phase of the project is scheduled to be completed and so on. Tim started the meeting by saying "the good news is that everything is going as planned without any unexpected challenges…..the bad news is that it's going to get real bad for those who travel the I-17 on a regular basis." Tim pointed out that all of the work that has taken place so far has been off of the roadway. Primarily they have been working on the new and/or improved bridges along the stretch from the Loop 101 north to the Carefree Highway. In the near future, ADOT will begin the work to widen the roadway, which is the part that Tim was referring to when he said "…it's going to get real bad…" It's the nature of the beast. We will have to make a minor sacrifice to enjoy the benefits of a big step forward in the effort to accommodate the traffic needs north of the Loop 101 on I-17.

One of the things that he mentioned that caught my attention was that they will not be doing any improvements to the "round-about of death" at Happy Valley Rd. They've determined that with the other improvements, namely the new Jomax Rd interchange, it will alleviate some of the congestion at Happy Valley Rd. I would have to agree with that in theory, however, it doesn't help with the people that do utilize that interchange that have no idea how to use the round-about. I have to admit, I hate it. Every time I drive through it I'm a nervous wreck that I'm going to get myself stuck in the wrong lane and not be able to get out when I need to or somebody is going to run into me because they don't understand how it's supposed to work. If I'm headed east on Happy Valley Rd. do I take the inside or the outside lane. If I'm wrong, I'm stuck going around in a circle like I would imagine myself in London as I pass the Big Ben over and over and over and over!! Luckily I've managed to escape the round-about while averting disaster each time.

Below is the plan from the ADOT website which shows the order of the phases and the anticipated dates of completion.

Another note of relative importance…one of the people in the meeting asked Mr. Tait if there was anything that could be done to get people to reduce their speed in the construction zones. Just past the Loop 101 the speed limit is reduced to 55 mph and then 45 mph, and of course, being Phoenix, nobody seems to slow down and those driving the speed limit are on the verge of causing a traffic accident. He informed us that the DPS would be heightening their patrols through that area and would be issuing tickets liberally. So keep an eye out while on that stretch of highway, better yet, just slow down a little bit!! J

-Steve Nicks

[tags] Phoenix real estate, Desert Ridge real estate, I-17 construction [/tags]