In addition to widening 4 miles of Interstate 10 and adding a first-of-its-kind dust detection and warning system, an Arizona Department of Transportation project nearing completion at Eloy has created a modern State Route 87 interchange able to handle traffic demands for decades to come.
Along with a new SR 87 bridge spanning the Union Pacific Railroad tracks just to the north, a bridge over I-10 features two lanes in each direction plus turn lanes and traffic signals, a step up from one lane in each direction offered by the former interchange.
Work on the two-year, $72 million project is scheduled to continue through early December, yet motorists are already seeing – and benefiting from – most of the improvements. Work zone restrictions have ended, and traffic is flowing on all lanes of the SR 87 interchange as well as on a straightened I-10 between mileposts 209 and 213 that now offers three lanes in each direction.
The new SR 87 interchange improves safety by providing longer entrance and exit ramps so motorists have more room to accelerate and slow down. In addition, the overpass is designed to be widened in the future to accommodate growth in the area.
ADOT crews are finishing work on the pilot dust detection and warning system, designed to enhance safety in an area prone to blowing dust.
The dust detection zone, between mileposts 209 and 219, include overhead message boards, variable speed limit signs, closed-circuit cameras and short-range detectors for blowing dust.
One highly visible component will arrive soon: a long-range radar dish that will sit atop 22-foot-tall pole at the SR 87 interchange. Once the radar is installed, ADOT will begin operating the system in test mode.
Thanks to this project and a $43 million project wrapping up in Casa Grande, I-10 now offers three lanes in each direction all the way between Tucson and Casa Grande.
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