More weekend woes on Loop 101 - East Valley Tribune: News

More weekend woes on Loop 101

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2007 5:59 pm | Updated: 7:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

State transportation officials recommend drivers plan alternate routes this weekend to avoid a complete closure of a seven-mile stretch of southbound Loop 101’s Pima Freeway in Scottsdale.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to shut down the southbound lanes between Via de Ventura and McKellips Road from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Monday as crews prepare to install car-pool lanes.

Northbound lanes along roughly the same stretch were closed last weekend as crews started a $47.5 million project that will ultimately add high-occupancy vehicle lanes to a 15-mile stretch of Loop 101 between Princess Drive in Scottsdale and Loop 202 in Tempe.

ADOT closed only the northbound lanes last weekend to avoid affecting traffic traveling south to Sun Devil Stadium for an Arizona State University football game, said ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel.

And despite events like the Shrine Circus at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Nintzel said there weren’t many complaints.

“It was as good as you might expect in terms of having the freeway closed,” he said.

ADOT tries to plan around events that attract more than 20,000 people, Nintzel said.

“This weekend, ASU is up at Stanford. ASU football games is one event that we’ve tried to work around,” Nintzel said. “The Cardinals are out in Glendale, but the southbound restrictions shouldn’t affect fans.”

However, motorists traveling west on Interstate 10 on Saturday should be aware parts of that freeway will be closed for a few hours at a time for lane striping and maintenance work, Nintzel said.

But drivers traveling west on U.S. 60 out of Apache Junction this weekend have some good news: A freeway closure scheduled for the stretch between Mountain View Road and Crismon Road has been delayed due to a shortage of rubberized asphalt, Nintzel said.

This weekend’s work on Loop 101 will involve adjusting existing lane stripes out five feet and putting up barriers, he said.

Once the freeway reopens, crews will work behind the barriers to prepare the ground for the extra lanes, remove the existing cable barrier and install a concrete barrier with new freeway lighting, he said.

No major freeway closures are anticipated along that stretch of Loop 101 for the next three or four months as work continues behind the barriers, Nintzel said. However, there will be some overnight closures as crews install ramp meters and cameras to monitor traffic flow.

The next major closure will be in January or February as crews finish the first five-mile stretch of the HOV lanes and prepare to move farther north to the next five-mile segment, Nintzel said.

But that doesn’t mean the first five miles of HOV lanes will open in January or February.

At this point, the plan is to open the entire 15-mile stretch at once, Nintzel said.

The entire project should be complete by early 2009, he said.

Weekend closures

• Southbound Loop 101 between Via de Ventura and McKellips Road from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Monday.

• Westbound Interstate 10 between state Route 143 and Interstate 17, from 9 p.m. today to 1 p.m. Saturday.

• Westbound I-10 narrowed to three lanes between 40th Street and the I-17 junction near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport from 1 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

• Westbound I-10 through the Deck Park Tunnel between Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue from 11 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday for maintenance work.

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