On Nov. 28, the Arizona Dept. of Transportation announced that a 23-mile portion of heavily used Interstate I-17 will be closed for rock blasting at night. The blasting will close down both sides of the highway going north and south for 1 hour periods at night every week for 2 or 3 nights a week over the next 8 months.
The portion of I-17 that will be closed is between Anthem Way and Sunset Point rest stop. The first closure will start on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 10 to 11 p.m.
Another closure is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1 from 10 to 11 p.m.
As a result, expect huge traffic delays going both north and south on I-17. For example, on weeknights when controlled rock blasting is scheduled, crews will begin narrowing I-17 to a single lane in both directions at 7 p.m. and then fully close the highway after 10 p.m.
The Arizona DOT says that:
"Generally, blasting will occur between 10 and 11 p.m. However, the window of time for this work to occur is between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The start and end times of each closure could vary based on blast-site, weather and traffic conditions, or other unforeseen circumstances."
Currently, I-17 has two travel lanes in each direction between Anthem Way, north of Phoenix, and Flagstaff. The highway passes through rolling terrain in the southern and northern segments and mountainous terrain with steep, narrow lanes between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.
The 23-mile section of Interstate 17 (I-17) between Anthem Way and Sunset Point is one of the most heavily utilized roadways in Arizona, seeing more than 1 million travelers each year.
The website for the I-17 widening project says that the construction activity could potentially continue until 2025.
The bottom line here - expect traffic delays from 7 pm starting on Wednesday night Nov. 30 and also on Thursday, Dec. 1 on I-17.
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