Friday, December 21, 2012

New I-17 ‘flyover’ bridge opens to traffic, to improve traffic flow



Just in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays, ADOT has completed the new Cordes Junction ‘flyover’ bridge, which is now open to traffic!

This new overpass lifts northbound I-17 traffic headed to the Prescott area over the highway and connects directly to northbound SR 69.

The busy Cordes Junction traffic interchange sits right between Flagstaff and Phoenix. Because it was built nearly 50 years ago – when traffic volumes were not nearly as large what they are today – ADOT has been working to remake it into an updated, modern interchange. When completed, the new design will make it easier for drivers to connect to other northern communities, including Prescott, while improving traffic flow and safety.

A major accomplishment
A big component of the $50 million project was the completion of the new flyover bridge. Due to the outdated design of the previous interchange, slower local traffic destined for the businesses and residences in the Cordes Lakes area, were forced to mix with the high speed traffic at this busy interchange, which serves over 40,000 vehicles per day.

“Completing the new flyover bridge is a major milestone on this Cordes Junction traffic interchange reconstruction project,” said Prescott District Engineer Alvin Stump. “The interchange was built almost 50 years ago when traffic volumes were much lower and it mixes local and through traffic, resulting in congestion and delays. This updated interchange will not only be able to handle the future growth in this area, but also make it safer for all drivers.”

More on the project
After beginning construction in August 2011, ADOT is entering the final stages after having completed over 80 percent of the project. ADOT is on target to complete the project as scheduled by June 2013.

The remaining major work yet to be completed includes opening the new southbound Big Bug Bridge and east roundabout near the McDonalds restaurant, and repaving I-17 and SR 69.

Improvements to the interchange will increase accessibility to local businesses, provide more efficient traffic movements for those traveling through the area, and prepare for future traffic demands. The project includes seven new bridges, three local roads (Copper Star Road, Arcosanti Road, Stagecoach Trail), installation of two roundabouts, as well as improvements to local storm water drainage.

For details on the project’s progress so far, check out our previous videos and blog posts or visit the project web page.

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