This weekend likely will be the last time the Arizona Department of Transportation will completely shut down a segment of Loop 101 in Scottsdale, at least until after the holiday season, ADOT officials said Thursday.
State transportation officials plan to close down a four-mile section of the southbound Loop 101 Pima Freeway between 90th Street and Chaparral Road from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Monday as part of a $47.5 million high-occupancy vehicle lane project.
The project will eventually add HOV lanes in both directions to a 15-mile stretch of Loop 101 between Princess Drive and the Red Mountain Freeway leg of Loop 202. Whole sections of the freeway have been periodically closed on weekends in the last two months.
“We avoid full weekend closures during the holiday travel season,” said ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel.
ADOT is also reluctant to shut down parts of the freeway in January during events like the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and the FBR Open golf tournament in Scottsdale, Nintzel said, and because of the expected regional traffic from Super Bowl XLII in Glendale.
This weekend, crews will adjust lane stripes and set up additional barriers on the freeway’s interior shoulder in preparation for installing HOV lanes. Drivers traveling south on Loop 101 will be prompted to exit at 90th Street, go south on Pima Road and east on Chaparral Road before returning to the freeway. The southbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Shea Boulevard will also be closed.
ADOT also suggests taking southbound state Route 51 to eastbound Loop 202 as an alternative.
“By making these adjustments now, the contractor could potentially get some work under way early next year without full freeway closures,” Nintzel said.
However, drivers could see the temporary closure of some lanes overnight in the next several weeks, he said. It’s possible full freeway closures could resume in February.
“We’re trying to get ahead of the game,” Nintzel said.
The full HOV lane project is expected to be done by early 2009.
ADOT plans two other restrictions this weekend:
• Eastbound U.S. 60 is narrowed to one lane from Meridian to Mountain View roads from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Sunday.
• Interstate 17 is narrowed to one lane from Happy Valley Road to Carefree Highway from 9 p.m. today to 7 a.m. Saturday.