New ramps to improve Sky Harbor access for East Valley residents - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

New ramps to improve Sky Harbor access for East Valley residents

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:43 pm | Updated: 5:54 pm, Wed Feb 29, 2012.

East Valley airline passengers who fly out of Sky Harbor International Airport will have better access to and from the airport starting Monday, when two new freeway ramps open on state Route 143.

The ramps are scheduled to open by the morning rush hour, but portions of the freeway will close this weekend as crews prepare the lanes for traffic.

The new ramps will provide access to southbound Route 143 from eastbound and westbound Sky Harbor Boulevard. This will be the first time drivers heading out of the airport toward Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler will have a link to southbound Route 143, said Doug Nintzel, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“It’s going to be much more convenient for drivers leaving the east end of the airport to get directly onto southbound Route 143 and then access Interstate 10 and other destinations in the East Valley,” Nintzel said. “It will be a faster way to reach the Broadway Curve and U.S. 60, for example.”

The ramps are part of ADOT’s $17.8 million project to modernize the interchange of Sky Harbor Boulevard and Route 143, also known as the Hohokam Freeway.

A third flyover ramp is scheduled to open this summer, replacing an old circular ramp that links the westbound Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway to southbound Route 143.

“It’s a popular way for drivers along the westbound Red Mountain to get to I-10 via the 143,” Nintzel said.

Drivers will find the following restrictions starting this weekend:

  • Southbound Route 143 will close from McDowell Road to University Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Westbound Sky Harbor Boulevard will close from Loop 202 to 44th Street, including the westbound ramp to southbound Route 143. Also, the westbound I-10 ramp to northbound Route 143 will close over the weekend.
  • Northbound Route 143 will close from Sky Harbor Boulevard to Washington Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday.
  • Eastbound Sky Harbor Boulevard will close from 44th Street and Route 143 from 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday.
  • The northbound Route 143 ramp to westbound Sky Harbor Boulevard will close for about three months starting at 9 p.m. Friday. The ramp will be reconstructed over the summer.

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