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Plan Unveiled To Improve Traffic Flow On Busy Stretch Of I-17

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's Office

Governor Doug Ducey has announced significant improvements to Interstate 17 north of Phoenix.

The governor says the improvements are the result of joint efforts from a state, local and federal partnership, including $130 million proposed in Governor Ducey’s executive budget and included in the fiscal year 2020 budget signed earlier this year.

During a news conference Thursday in Anthem, the governor said “On busy days, the stretch of Interstate 17 just north of Phoenix can see more than 50,000 drivers a day – and we want to make sure every one of them gets to their destination safely and without long delays.”

He said investments topping $300 million will widen I-17 to three lanes along 15 miles between Anthem and Black Canyon City and build an 8-mile system of flex lanes on the grade between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. “Investing in critical transportation infrastructure will drive Arizona’s 21st century economy and support future prosperity,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Improving I-17 has been a priority for many years, and it is exciting to see that dream becoming a reality thanks to this collaboration led by Governor Ducey.”

The I-17 flex lanes will operate as a separate two-lane roadway carrying one direction of traffic at a time depending on the greatest need along the steep, winding 8 miles between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. For example, the flex lanes will be able to carry heavier northbound traffic on a Friday or southbound traffic on a Sunday and also can keep traffic moving if there is a closure in that stretch.

The project is set to begin by spring 2021, with completion of all improvements expected by 2023.

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