The $446-million project, which will add capacity and reduce congestion along this heavily traveled corridor, is expected to take approximately three years to complete. The 23-mile corridor includes 15 miles of widening from Anthem Way to Black Canyon City and the construction of approximately eight miles of flex lanes from Black Canyon City to Sunset Point.
Flex lanes are a new feature for Arizona’s highway system and are proven technology to help reduce congestion on I-17 during peak travel times and allow for traffic movement during emergency situations. The I-17 flex lanes will operate as a separate, two-lane roadway carrying one direction of traffic at a time depending on the greatest need along the steep, winding eight miles between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.
“The I-17 Improvement Project is an important investment in Arizona’s transportation infrastructure," said Governor Doug Ducey. “All who travel I-17 regularly for weekend trips and daily commutes will benefit, including commercial truckers who use this Key Commerce Corridor to haul goods and services throughout our state. This project is critical for Arizona drivers and our state’s economy.”
“I want all drivers to be aware that ADOT is adding lanes to improve safety and reduce driver frustration by relieving the congestion the current configuration causes,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Although there will be additional lanes, it is up to drivers to behave responsibly, operate their vehicles according to the law and, above all, be patient and courteous with each other. Let's get everyone safely home.”
ADOT partnered with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and the Federal Highway Administration on this much-anticipated project.
“The Maricopa Association of Governments recognizes that transportation is not only about getting where you want to go, it also is about our quality of life — visiting family, doing the things we love with the people we love,” said MAG Transportation Policy Committee Chair Jack Sellers, a Supervisor for Maricopa County. “Transportation is about our economy. It is about safety. That is why transportation investment is so important, and why MAG contributed funding to this project from Anthem Way to the Yavapai County line.”
The project has been funded in part by $50 million of Proposition 400 funds, a dedicated sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters, along with state and federal funds, including $40 million in state funding from higher-than-anticipated revenue amid Arizona’s strong economic recovery.
The developer team that is designing and building this project is Kiewit-Fann Joint Venture.
Construction work at New River Road has recently begun. The New River Road bridge work is expected to last until February 2023. In addition to the widening and flex lane construction, this improvement project includes the widening of 10 bridges and the full replacement of two bridges. Work will occur at various areas throughout the 23-mile corridor for the duration of the project.