The Arizona Department of Transportation held its first meeting on Tuesday evening regarding the expansion of Interstate-17. ADOT is looking for feedback on the proposed plan.
It's one of the most traveled interstates in Arizona. It's the route just about everyone takes to Flagstaff or maybe the weekend trip to Sedona. Traffic is notoriously heavy on the weekends.
"On Friday, if you have someone you don't really care for you hope they get on that freeway going North, because they're not going to be in your house for the party," said Doug Rapp, whose lived in the New River area for 41 years.
He knows all about I-17. "It doesn't surprise any of us that live here to come home at night and look over at the freeway and it's stopped," said Rapp.
The backups can be long and at times, the interstate shut-down for hours. "It could be a crash," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT. "It could be a disabled vehicle and one of the things that we are looking at is the 'flex lane'."
Flex lanes could be the possible solution for a traffic nightmare. ADOT says the two extra lanes of freeway from Anthem to Sunset Point would be flexible, so they can be switched over to handle traffic going either North or South - depending on how heavy the traffic is.
ADOT is budgeting about $150-million dollars.
ADOT plans to hold two other meeting with the public to get their input.
— Steve Elliott (@elliott602az) April 4, 2018