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Author Topic: Phoenix Area Highways  (Read 27258 times)

swbrotha100

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Phoenix Area Highways
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:18:10 PM »

Hoping to have most of the Phoenix-area projects (both planned and under construction) in this thread.

I'll start by mentioning the Northern Parkway. Now that overpasses are complete over Reems Rd and Litchfield Rd, it makes for a nice little highway from Loop 303 to Dysart Rd. We'll see how things go as the Northern Parkway is built further east.

Speaking of Loop 303, it's amazing how different it is now than a few years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the current construction zone (just south of US 60/Grand Ave to Happy Valley Parkway) is complete by this time next year. About the only thing that has yet to start is the new El Mirage Rd overpass and interchange.

The biggest question mark right now is if/when the South Mountain Freeway section of Loop 202 will finally get underway. An optimistic view (for those in support of the freeway) would be for construction to start by early 2016.

Another long term project is the proposed I-11 and how it may be used as a freeway bypass of Phoenix. If I-11 has to use existing highway corridors, I wouldn't be opposed to the future freeway replacing the current stretch of AZ 85 between I-8 and I-10.
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blanketcomputer

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 10:51:00 AM »

Loop 101 (Pima) is still in the midst of its widening north of the Red Mountain Freeway. Just a few months ago ADOT began a study to potentially widen Loop 101 (Price) from US 60 to Loop 202 (Santan).

Loop 303 has a lot of work underway as mentioned in the previous post. Work is to begin this year on the south half of the Loop 303/I-10 interchange and work to extend Loop 303 south to Van Buren should begin in 2016.

Loop 202 (Red Mountain) is in the middle of its widening project. This project seems to be coming together very quickly. The median area for the HOV lanes is nearly completed from Power Road to Broadway Road. After decades of practice it seems like ADOT is getting pretty efficient at the median paving business. Still a lot of work to do between Loop 101 and Gilbert Road, though some new retaining walls and sound walls can be seen from the freeway so progress is evident.

I think the biggest project is obviously the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. There is no doubt that this project will be constructed, and I believe ADOT will try to begin work as soon as the record of decision is released this spring. I am imagining the years worth of headaches drivers will have to endure during the construction of the Loop 202/I-10 (Papago) interchange. Building a T-interchange with HOV connections in one of the busiest sections of freeway in Arizona will be interesting.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 04:26:51 PM »

A project that has been going on for the past year is the installation of logo signs on the Phoenix area freeways; I have another thread that tracks their installation.  The current buildout phase is for Loop 202 (except between Loop 101 and Gilbert Road on the Red Mountain Freeway) and SR 51, however in the past month no new signs have been installed (except at Loop 101 and Glendale Ave with the additional 6 panel lodging sign, which also added several trailblazer signs), since several of the existing leases were coming up for renewal, thus some existing signs got some new logos added or removed. 

I expect new installations will resume at least next month, however last year there were no new signs installed from January to April, with new installations not resuming until May, so perhaps ADOT might wait like they did last year.  The next phase after Loop 202 and SR 51 is US 60 Superstition and Loop 202 Red Mountain between Loop 101 and Gilbert Road, which is supposed to begin sometime in the second half of 2015.  I would love to see Buca di Beppo of Mesa get a logo sign at the US 60 and Val Vista exit.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 04:29:39 PM by Pink Jazz »
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707

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 01:52:47 AM »

I was surprised to see that a brief stint of AZ 24 was constructed on Loop 202 last year. Though I wonder why they even built that brief section and didn't use that money on US 93, I-10 or Loop 303.
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blanketcomputer

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 04:20:44 AM »

I was surprised to see that a brief stint of AZ 24 was constructed on Loop 202 last year. Though I wonder why they even built that brief section and didn't use that money on US 93, I-10 or Loop 303.

The City of Mesa issued bonds to expedite the construction of the first mile of SR 24.
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707

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 11:33:18 AM »

I was surprised to see that a brief stint of AZ 24 was constructed on Loop 202 last year. Though I wonder why they even built that brief section and didn't use that money on US 93, I-10 or Loop 303.

The City of Mesa issued bonds to expedite the construction of the first mile of SR 24.

That explains it then. Does ADOT issue bonds to raise money for its projects as well?
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blanketcomputer

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 01:27:14 PM »

That explains it then. Does ADOT issue bonds to raise money for its projects as well?

I am not sure bonds are issued for specific projects, but the State Transportation Board does issue bonds for the highway user revenue fund and the regional area road fund.
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Sonic99

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 11:12:32 PM »

I was surprised to see that a brief stint of AZ 24 was constructed on Loop 202 last year. Though I wonder why they even built that brief section and didn't use that money on US 93, I-10 or Loop 303.

The City of Mesa issued bonds to expedite the construction of the first mile of SR 24.

That move kinda confused me, as AZ 24 really has no purpose and doesn't go anywhere. Seems like Mesa spent a lot of money on something that there is very benefit from considering how short the road is. Basically it's a really fancy offramp for Ellsworth.
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707

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 11:16:13 AM »

I was surprised to see that a brief stint of AZ 24 was constructed on Loop 202 last year. Though I wonder why they even built that brief section and didn't use that money on US 93, I-10 or Loop 303.

The City of Mesa issued bonds to expedite the construction of the first mile of SR 24.

That move kinda confused me, as AZ 24 really has no purpose and doesn't go anywhere. Seems like Mesa spent a lot of money on something that there is very benefit from considering how short the road is. Basically it's a really fancy offramp for Ellsworth.

My thoughts exactly. I can understand AZ 24 being a shortcut to the AZ 79/US 60 Florence Interchange in the future, but the current status of it as this luxurious off ramp is kind of silly.
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blanketcomputer

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 02:06:15 PM »


The City of Mesa issued bonds to expedite the construction of the first mile of SR 24.

That move kinda confused me, as AZ 24 really has no purpose and doesn't go anywhere. Seems like Mesa spent a lot of money on something that there is very benefit from considering how short the road is. Basically it's a really fancy offramp for Ellsworth.

My thoughts exactly. I can understand AZ 24 being a shortcut to the AZ 79/US 60 Florence Interchange in the future, but the current status of it as this luxurious off ramp is kind of silly.

Mesa has been focusing a lot of spending in the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and ASU Polytech area, along with the large residential developments quickly being built just off the SR 24 Ellsworth Road exit. Future expansions of the Gateway airport terminal call for some interesting ramps to and from SR 24 and Mesa has always been very active in getting the freeways it wants built. Construction of the Loop 202 interchange and the mile of ramps to Ellsworth Road was scheduled for 2016, then Ellsworth Road to Meridian Road in 2026, and it's up to Pinal County east of Meridian Road because SR 24 is being built from Maricopa County's Prop. 400 sales tax revenue to the county line. Mesa's bonds moved phase 1 construction to when it began in 2012. The extension east of Ellsworth is still scheduled for 2026 when SR 30 is scheduled to begin construction as well.

The added bonus of the early interchange construction is the traffic using Ellsworth Road from Queen Creek and San Tan Valley can now use SR 24 to Loop 202 to get anywhere in the valley instead of having to head north through more residential areas of Mesa to get to Loop 202 or US 60.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2015, 12:01:21 AM »

Looking at some Town of Gilbert documents, ADOT and the Town of Gilbert are proposing adding an interchange at Loop 202 SanTan Freeway and Lindsay Road.  Geometry studies have been ongoing.
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roadiejay

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2015, 12:17:52 PM »

The added bonus of the early interchange construction is the traffic using Ellsworth Road from Queen Creek and San Tan Valley can now use SR 24 to Loop 202 to get anywhere in the valley instead of having to head north through more residential areas of Mesa to get to Loop 202 or US 60.

Exactly. Ellsworth and Hunt Highway comprise the main artery connecting STV and QC to Gilbert, Mesa and points beyond. It's undergone an impressive number of widening projects in recent years.

I wonder what the ultimate plan is for a freeway connection to San Tan Valley, if one exists. Given all the development along the Ellsworth/Hunt corridor, I think building up Ironwood/Gantzel to freeway standards and placing an interchange at AZ 24 when it eventually comes through would be a nice option.
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swbrotha100

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2015, 03:38:24 PM »

The added bonus of the early interchange construction is the traffic using Ellsworth Road from Queen Creek and San Tan Valley can now use SR 24 to Loop 202 to get anywhere in the valley instead of having to head north through more residential areas of Mesa to get to Loop 202 or US 60.

Exactly. Ellsworth and Hunt Highway comprise the main artery connecting STV and QC to Gilbert, Mesa and points beyond. It's undergone an impressive number of widening projects in recent years.

I wonder what the ultimate plan is for a freeway connection to San Tan Valley, if one exists. Given all the development along the Ellsworth/Hunt corridor, I think building up Ironwood/Gantzel to freeway standards and placing an interchange at AZ 24 when it eventually comes through would be a nice option.

The Pinal North-South Freeway is one planned to eventually serve San Tan Valley and nearby areas. It would go from US 60 around Ironwood Dr to I-10 somewhere near Eloy.
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blanketcomputer

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2015, 08:35:46 PM »

Looking at some Town of Gilbert documents, ADOT and the Town of Gilbert are proposing adding an interchange at Loop 202 SanTan Freeway and Lindsay Road.  Geometry studies have been ongoing.

I think this is a good idea. Lindsay Road is also planned to have a west-half interchange with US 60 in the 2020s. Loop 202 is scheduled to gain an interchange at Mesa Drive around the same time.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2015, 08:55:01 PM »


I think this is a good idea. Lindsay Road is also planned to have a west-half interchange with US 60 in the 2020s. Loop 202 is scheduled to gain an interchange at Mesa Drive around the same time.

Of course, the nearby canals may be a problem, which could be why interchanges have not been built and possibly why the US 60 interchange will only be west-half.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 09:22:20 PM »

Speaking of SR 24, I wonder if most Queen Creek residents use it to go west to Chandler on Loop 202.  Using it to go north to US 60 it makes perfect sense, but it definitely seems to be a roundabout way to go west to Chandler due to Loop 202's S-curve to the south.  Using Rittenhouse to Germann to Val Vista seems to be much shorter in distance and probably in time as well.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 09:24:38 PM by Pink Jazz »
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roadiejay

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2015, 01:53:55 AM »

Speaking of SR 24, I wonder if most Queen Creek residents use it to go west to Chandler on Loop 202.  Using it to go north to US 60 it makes perfect sense, but it definitely seems to be a roundabout way to go west to Chandler due to Loop 202's S-curve to the south.  Using Rittenhouse to Germann to Val Vista seems to be much shorter in distance and probably in time as well.

That seems to be the common route from Queen Creek to Chandler, Phoenix and points beyond. When I worked in Downtown Phoenix, a coworker of mine who commuted from Johnson Ranch would snake up surface streets to Loop 202, and on to I-10. Taking US 60 to Ellsworth or Ironwood feels much longer, unless you work in Scottsdale, Tempe or Mesa.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2015, 06:01:38 PM »

I just noticed that at Loop 202 SanTan Freeway and Kyrene, some brand new Skyline Products full matrix LED variable message signs have been installed. I wonder if these are the new full color models. ADOT's new contract with Skyline that they signed last year included some orders for full color VMS.

Note that prior to last year, Skyline was ADOT 's provider for off-freeway VMS, while on-freeway VMS were fixed character models provided by Daktronics. ADOT last year decided not to renew its contract with Daktronics and Skyline is now the exclusive VMS provider for ADOT, with all new models (both on- and off-freeway) now being full matrix.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 07:34:03 PM by Pink Jazz »
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2015, 06:05:49 PM »

Speaking of SR 24, I wonder if most Queen Creek residents use it to go west to Chandler on Loop 202.  Using it to go north to US 60 it makes perfect sense, but it definitely seems to be a roundabout way to go west to Chandler due to Loop 202's S-curve to the south.  Using Rittenhouse to Germann to Val Vista seems to be much shorter in distance and probably in time as well.

Dang, I remeber going to the SCA Estrella War as a merchant in 1999 and most of these roads were barely paved back then.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2015, 09:38:30 PM »

About the new VMS on the SanTan Freeway, this is actually part of a project to install the Freeway Management System on the SanTan Freeway, along with the ramp meters that have been installed at the Dobson interchange.  The first phase of the project will be completed this year and will be from I-10 to Dobson.  The next phase is planned for next year and will extend the FMS to Val Vista.

I wonder though, does the Red Mountain Freeway widening project include the installation of FMS?  I would be surprised if it doesn't, because it seems the Red Mountain Freeway would be higher priority than the SanTan Freeway since it gets more traffic (otherwise they wouldn't be widening it).
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2015, 05:01:16 PM »

Just found out from ADOT that the new Skyline VMS on Loop 202 have the ability to display full color, however, ADOT does not currently have any plans to utilize the color features of the signs and they will be programmed in amber-only for now.  In addition, while these new signs are full matrix, they will continue to be programmed as if they were fixed character signs using the same monospaced font as other signs.

I presume the reasons why ADOT isn't currently using them to display colors or graphics is likely because all VMS in the Phoenix area are programmed and controlled using the same software, thus ADOT is trying to maintain compatibility with the existing fixed character signs, rather than using separate software to control the new Skyline full matrix signs.
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ztonyg

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2015, 10:48:33 PM »

ADOT has put in a number of Skyline full matrix LED signs up in the last 2-3 years on freeways.

I-17 has them S/B at near Bell Rd and also near Greenway Rd and N/B at Thunderbird and N of Bell Rd.

AZ 51 has them N/B and S/B at Bell Rd.

L101 has them N/B and E/B at Northern, Bell, the curve from N/B to E/B at Beardsley, and at approximately 43rd Ave whereas in the W/B direction there are Skyline full matrix LED signs at approximately 35th Ave, Bell Rd, Northern, and Indian School. 
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2015, 10:55:58 PM »

ADOT has put in a number of Skyline full matrix LED signs up in the last 2-3 years on freeways.

I-17 has them S/B at near Bell Rd and also near Greenway Rd and N/B at Thunderbird and N of Bell Rd.

AZ 51 has them N/B and S/B at Bell Rd.

L101 has them N/B and E/B at Northern, Bell, the curve from N/B to E/B at Beardsley, and at approximately 43rd Ave whereas in the W/B direction there are Skyline full matrix LED signs at approximately 35th Ave, Bell Rd, Northern, and Indian School.

Interesting.  BTW, I saw another new Skyline full matrix VMS on I-10 near Wild Horse Pass Blvd today.
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ztonyg

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2015, 11:12:14 PM »

ADOT has put in a number of Skyline full matrix LED signs up in the last 2-3 years on freeways.

I-17 has them S/B at near Bell Rd and also near Greenway Rd and N/B at Thunderbird and N of Bell Rd.

AZ 51 has them N/B and S/B at Bell Rd.

L101 has them N/B and E/B at Northern, Bell, the curve from N/B to E/B at Beardsley, and at approximately 43rd Ave whereas in the W/B direction there are Skyline full matrix LED signs at approximately 35th Ave, Bell Rd, Northern, and Indian School.

Interesting.  BTW, I saw another new Skyline full matrix VMS on I-10 near Wild Horse Pass Blvd today.

That Wild Horse Pass Blvd one must be new.  There's also a Skyline VMS on I-10 W/B just N of I-8 in Casa Grande, one on I-17 S/B just N of AZ 69 in Cordes Jct., one on I-40 W/B in Winslow, and I believe I saw one E/B on I-10 somewhere in western Arizona.

Interestingly enough, after ADOT had switched to Skyline for their freeway VMSs, they did purchase 2 Daktronics freeway DMSs about 1 - 1.5 years ago for an new installation near I-10 and Prince Rd in Tucson  (I believe these are the newest Daktronics DMSs in the state). 

I am curious if they're going to start to phase out any more of the Sylvia Fiber Optic VMSs.  They replaced 4 of the Sylvia signs with Daktronics DMSs on I-10 (2 E/B and 2 W/B between Loop 101 and I-17) about 5 years ago.  However, it seems that they've rehabilitated the vast majority of the remaining Sylvia fiber optic VMSs. 
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Phoenix Area Highways
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2015, 02:10:54 AM »


That Wild Horse Pass Blvd one must be new.  There's also a Skyline VMS on I-10 W/B just N of I-8 in Casa Grande, one on I-17 S/B just N of AZ 69 in Cordes Jct., one on I-40 W/B in Winslow, and I believe I saw one E/B on I-10 somewhere in western Arizona.

Interestingly enough, after ADOT had switched to Skyline for their freeway VMSs, they did purchase 2 Daktronics freeway DMSs about 1 - 1.5 years ago for an new installation near I-10 and Prince Rd in Tucson  (I believe these are the newest Daktronics DMSs in the state). 

I am curious if they're going to start to phase out any more of the Sylvia Fiber Optic VMSs.  They replaced 4 of the Sylvia signs with Daktronics DMSs on I-10 (2 E/B and 2 W/B between Loop 101 and I-17) about 5 years ago.  However, it seems that they've rehabilitated the vast majority of the remaining Sylvia fiber optic VMSs.

Yes, the one at Wild Horse Pass is brand new; there were still orange "SIGN UNDER TEST" signs on both sides of the gantry.

Perhaps the Sylvia fiber optic DMS that still have internal incandescent lighting may soon be replaced by new Skyline signs; there are still a few on the US 60 Superstition Freeway that haven't yet been retrofitted with LED lighting.  However, the rehabilitated Sylvia DMS will likely remain in service for years to come.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 02:15:25 AM by Pink Jazz »
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