The first of a series of planned improvement projects along U.S. Highway 60 between Superior and Globe will start Wednesday, June 17, when the Arizona Department of Transportation begins work to construct a new passing lane from Devil’s Canyon to Oak Flat (mileposts 231-233), along with other improvements.
When completed, the $8.8 million safety improvement project will make it easier for motorists to pass large trucks and slow-moving vehicles whose speed drops because of the sustained grades along this stretch of highway from Devil’s Canyon to the Oak Flat area, according to a press release.
There will be minimal impacts to the traveling public during this initial phase of the project prior to Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Construction of the passing lane and some shoulder widening will require U.S. 60 to be closed during blasting, which will start after the Independence Day holiday weekend.
The project will include the following:
•Construction of a new westbound passing lane from Devil’s Canyon to Oak Flat (mileposts 231-233)
•Widening road shoulders in the Devil’s Canyon area (milepost 233-234)
•Improvements to the Waterfall Canyon bridge (milepost 229)
•Box culvert drainage improvements (milepost 242 just west of Miami)
Work hours will be 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Work crews may also be working at night during different phases of the construction. The project is anticipated to be completed by summer 2016.
Removing several areas of rock embankment will require blasting during the project. The first phase of blasting is being planned for the week after the Fourth of July holiday weekend during morning hours around 9 a.m. The exact day has not been determined.
Blasting will occur about every five to seven days in a five-month period until it is completed. Closures during the initial blasts may be up to three hours. As blasting continues there will be a lesser impact on traffic and delays will be reduced.
ADOT will work to minimize the traffic impacts as much as possible, including scheduling some nighttime work.
There will be narrow traffic lanes, wide-load restrictions and a reduced speed limit through the work zone. Flaggers and pilot cars will be used at different times throughout the project. Drivers are asked to use caution, watch for construction equipment and personnel, and allow extra time for his or her commute.
ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule.
To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the online ADOT Traveler Information System or call 5-1-1.
The Apache Junction Independent is delivered weekly.