Drivers heading back to the Valley along Interstate 17 will notice a bit of a shift as they head toward Anthem.
Over the weekend, crews with the I-17 Improvement Project opened the new southbound Moores Gulch bridge at milepost 238 and shifted traffic onto the new lanes of the bridge, according to the Arizona Department of Transportatin.
“It’s a milestone marking the major bridge work progress happening on this project,” state transportation officials said.
Traffic was shifted to the outside (the right side heading southbound) on the completed portion of the new bridge. It allows construction work to take place on the inside portion (the left side heading southbound), an ADOT release stated.
The remaining old section of the Moores Gulch bridge needs to be replaced, and crews began that work over the weekend.
Temporary striping and concrete barriers will direct traffic to the outside lanes on the new bridge deck. Traffic will remain in that configuration for several months, until the inside portion of the new bridge and the new third lane are completed, according to ADOT.
The I-17 Improvement Project includes adding a third lane in each direction along the 15-mile stretch between Anthem Way and Black Canyon City. Widening the highway requires widening several bridges. From Black Canyon City to Sunset Point, flex lanes are being added along the eight-mile stretch.
The new 15 miles of general purpose lanes are expected to open in late 2024, and the flex lanes are expected to open in 2025, the first of their kind in Arizona, officials said.
The southbound Moores Gulch bridge is one of two bridges that are being replaced as part of the project. Ten other bridges, including the northbound Moores Gulch bridge, are being widened.
We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org.