Summer roadwork along U.S. 60 corridor between Mesa and Miami could cause traffic delays

Work on the U.S. Highway 60 road improvements project between Superior and Miami is expected to begin in June, according to the Pinal County Public Works department. (Courtesy Pinal County)

Work on the U.S. Highway 60 road improvements project between Superior and Miami is expected to begin in June, according to the Pinal County Public Works department. (Courtesy Pinal County)

The Arizona Department of Transportation is alerting motorists who travel regularly on U.S. Highway 60 between Globe and Phoenix to be aware of a series of upcoming improvement projects that will impact traffic on the highway this summer.

ADOT is investing nearly $65 million in four critical projects in Pinal and Gila counties that will start this year and build upon efforts to upgrade the U.S. 60 corridor west of Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, which is a major transportation route connecting the Phoenix metropolitan area and the communities of Florence Junction, Superior, Globe, Miami, San Carlos and Show Low, according to a press release.

“Improvement projects planned this summer along the U.S. 60 corridor will ultimately enhance safety for motorists,” said ADOT Globe District Engineer Jesse Gutierrez in the release. “Some of the projects will require significant traffic restrictions, so it will be important for motorists to allow extra travel time and plan ahead when construction starts.”

ADOT will work to minimize the traffic impacts by scheduling work hours on overlapping projects at different times of the day as much as possible. A detailed schedule of traffic restrictions will be released to the public prior to the start of construction.

The first project along U.S. 60 will start in June, when ADOT will build a new westbound climbing lane and widen shoulders along a 13-mile stretch of U.S. 60 from the Oak Flat area to the town of Miami (mileposts 229-242).

This $13 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 (mileposts 230-232).

When this project starts, blasting operations will require intermittent full closures of the highway.

Later in the summer, ADOT will convert the last remaining two-lane roadway segment on U.S. 60 between Phoenix and Superior into a modern, four-lane divided highway. The $45 million U.S. 60 Silver King/Superior Streets project just west of Superior (mileposts 222-227) is expected to take two years to complete and will include improving the urban section of highway in Superior. The five-mile-long widening improvements will improve traffic flow and enhance safety on U.S. 60.

East of Superior at milepost 228, ADOT will replace the antiquated lighting in the U.S. 60 Queen Creek Tunnel with a new light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting system. This will be the first tunnel in Arizona to have this LED technology, according to the release.

The new lighting system will improve visibility within the tunnel, which was originally built in 1952, by using an adaptive control system that will adjust the lighting level based upon ambient light and weather conditions outside the tunnel.

ADOT expects to replace the lighting system beginning this summer, which will require new conduit and wiring in the quarter-mile-long tunnel. The total project cost is estimated to be $3.8 million.

The final project on U.S. 60 is a $3 million rock mitigation project along mileposts 228-229, where crews will remove loose boulders along this very rocky and steep section of highway adjacent to the Queen Creek Tunnel.

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.

For more information, call ADOT toll-free at 855-712-8530 or visit the ADOT website.

To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information System website or call 5-1-1.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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