Plans to add a lane of general traffic in each direction on Loop 101 through much of Scottsdale will be the subject of two public meetings tonight and Thursday.
The proposed widening - not expected to begin until the next decade - is meant to accommodate increasing traffic caused by growth, said Julian Avila, Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman.
The meetings, hosted by ADOT, are meant to get residents' thoughts on the project as engineers attempt to draft design plans and environmental documents for the proposed additional lanes, which would widen Loop 101 to four lanes of general traffic in each direction between Princess Drive and Loop 202 in Tempe, Avila said.
"Right now, we're just studying the area and coming up with alternatives and possible solutions," he said. A separate Loop 101 project to add car-pool lanes in each direction between Loop 202 in Tempe and Via de Ventura is ongoing, he said.
Annie DeChance, Scottsdale transportation spokeswoman, said adding more lanes of general traffic could translate into some relief from traffic congestion.
"The additional lanes are just going to help traffic flow better through Scottsdale," she said.
Avila said estimates of the project's potential cost were not immediately available. However, the new lanes would be added in two stages. Construction of the portion between Shea Boulevard and Loop 202 is slated to begin in 2014, and work on the segment from Princess Drive to Shea Boulevard is expected to begin in 2022, he said.
At the two meetings this week, ADOT officials plan to give a presentation on the proposal, then take questions from residents.
ADOT is currently installing high-occupancy-vehicle lanes along the 15-mile segment of Loop 101 between Princess Drive and Loop 202. The segment between Loop 202 and Via de Ventura is expected to be done by the end of the year, Avila said, and the portion from Via de Ventura to Princess Drive could be done next spring.