PHOENIX — It has been more than a decade in the making with years of impact studies and public meetings. Now, construction on the I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Plan is set to begin in a matter of months.
The areas of impact included the I-10 between I-17 and Loop 202 (Santan and South Mountain Freeways), along with the Broadway Curve.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said they will start the 11 miles of roadwork, likely, in September of this year.
Spokesperson Tom Herrmann with ADOT said they believe the upcoming changes will cut down on cars weaving across the freeway as people try to get to the airport. It will also clear up the congestion in the area and make for a safer ride.
"We're confident they'll be happy with the project when it's finished," said Herrmann. "But in the meantime, we all need to get through it."
Herrmann said the project will be going on until late 2024 because there are many aspects of their plan that need to become a road reality.
"There are several major parts to this project," Herrmann explained. "One is replacing the interchange... State Route 143."
Herrmann said, instead of that big loop, they will replace it with two on-ramps and two off-ramps, including HOV lanes that connect I-10 and the 143.
"We're doing something that's new for the Valley and that is something called 'collector-distributor roads' that will collect traffic off the freeway and distribute them to the communities... to the surface streets," Herrmann said.
They are also replacing the bridge at Broadway Road and making interchange upgrades to the US 60.
"In the end, we'll have about 6 standard lanes and two HOV lanes in each direction in the Broadway Curve area," Herrmann said.
ADOT tells ABC15 this is one of the busiest sections of freeway in the state with 300,000 cars traveling that stretch of roadway daily.
"We're looking at a 25% increase over the next 10 -15 years to about 375,000 vehicles a day," said Herrmann.
While the project is ongoing, ADOT said they have been in constant communication with the officials in Chandler, Tempe, Guadalupe, and Phoenix.
"A lot of push plans, a lot of pre-planning... pre-determined timing plans," said City of Phoenix Traffic Engineer Simon Ramos.
Ramos and his team have been preparing too for when the freeway closures push drivers onto the city streets, causing congestion there.
"We're going to try to help alleviate that and be more prepared when the increase in traffic comes," Ramos said.
The Maricopa Association of Governments, known as MAG, did a study last year at seven different traffic interchanges and 15 arterial corridors to identify what could help ease issues off the freeway.
In response, the Phoenix City Council approved more than $1.3 million to spend updating the technology in the arterial corridors near the Broadway Curve project.
"We plan on using a lot of CCT or closed-circuit television cameras and our central management system and of course, installing new vehicle detection," Ramos explained inside their traffic control center at Phoenix City Hall.
City officials will also be upgrading some pan-tilt-zoom cameras to be able to see a 360-degree view of an intersection. That way, they will be able to identify if there is an issue anywhere nearby and make a traffic signal change to help flows.
ADOT will reimburse the city for the technology upgrades surrounding the project.
"Drivers should understand, there will be closures on I-10 and State Route 143 during this project and what they should do is think ahead," Herrmann said. "'If I can't go the way I normally go, do I take the 101 and the 202 to get in? How do I get there?' So, this is the time now before we start construction to start... give that a little thought."
ABC15 will keep drivers up-to-date with closures surrounding the project once it begins.
To learn more about ADOT's plan, click here.