West Valley drivers planning weekend travel may need to alter their normal routes.
The eastbound stretch of Interstate 10 between Avondale Boulevard and 99th Avenue and the eastbound I-10 on-ramps at Litchfield and Dysart roads will experience closures over the weekend, which are part of a $12 million highway improvement plan set to begin Friday, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m.
Closures in these areas will last until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13.
Crews will begin removing old rubberized asphalt in preparation for diamond grinding pavement treatment beginning next year, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The weekend closures will be the first of a series of closures along sections of the I-10 freeway between I-17 and Avondale Boulevard, which will continue throughout the fall, excluding the stretch of highway between 43rd and 67th avenues, which recently received a fresh layer of rubberized asphalt.
Drivers exiting at Avondale Boulevard can travel south to use eastbound Van Buren Street.
Click here for a list of all planned roadway closures this weekend.
The highway improvement project also will adjust lane striping to allow for the expansion of the southbound Loop 101 ramp to westbound I-10 to be expanded from one lane to two lanes. The striping will allow for the addition of another I-10 westbound lane between 67th Avenue and Avondale Boulevard, according to ADOT.
Diamond grinding along I-10 west of the Interstate-17 “stack” interchange in the West Valley will not begin until early 2022, according to ADOT.
Diamond grinding has been touted as a supposedly cheaper and longer-lasting alternative to repaving old roadways with rubberized asphalt, according to ADOT.
The technique uses diamond blades to cut tiny, ¼-inch grooves into aging rubberized asphalt, which run parallel to roadway traffic, creating a texture visually similar to “corduroy fabric,” according to ADOT.
The transportation department has claimed diamond grinding can help reduce the cost of roadway improvement, which is set to increase in the coming years.
Rubberized asphalt must be replaced every 10 to 15 years, and the projected cost to replace and maintain the pavement between 2020 and 2024 is $200 million, the department said.
That cost is expected to grow to $800 million between 2025 and 2029 using traditional paving techniques--a 300% increase, according to ADOT.
Click here to view photos of diamond grinding on ADOT's Flickr page.
Diamond grinding also keeps noise levels down, and maintenance requires fewer lane closures, ADOT said.
The technique has already been used to smooth three areas along the Loop 202 freeway between the I-10 and Loop 101 in early 2020. Rotating drums with diamond-tipped blades cut through the old pavement, which had remained in place “well beyond its planned service life” resulting in rough roadways, according to the department of transportation website.