TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With only a few hours left, residents and businesses along Ruthrauff are getting ready for the 24 month closure.
The Northwest Tucson Moose Lodge 2543, a fraternal organization located at 2660 W. Ruthrauff Rd, is one of the first buildings off the freeway.
The lodge is only open to members but volunteer bartender Kellie Smith said they’re already projecting a drop in business.
“At first it’s really probably going to affect us but people will get used to it. Our members of the Loyal Moose the women of the Moose they will get used to it,” Smith said.
Smith said they get a lot of members who come in from out of town, so they have worked on ways to make it easier for them to get to the lodge.
“We’ve mapped out an area for our members to get here easy, easier. The only problem is the folks on the other side of the expressway they’re not going to be able to get off on Ruthrauff or Sunset,” Smith said.
Residents in the area saw the writing on the wall.
“We’ve known since Ina that this was going to be the next stop,” Chris Dewier said.
As a teacher, Dewier relies on quick access to the freeway daily.
“I’ve got 29 other kids waiting on me and needing me to be there so I have to be on time.
It’s going to change the way he gets to work, how his kids get to school, and the number of cars coming through his side street.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more traffic," Dewier said.
They’re hoping the construction will do right by them.
“It will be easier we won’t have to wait for a train, you know have traffic backed up five miles down the road,” Smith said.
As they gear up and get ready to start down the long road ahead, Dewer said he expects traffic to be difficult.
According to the Arizona Departmnet of Transportation, officials will close the roadway in the morning Sunday, Feb. 16
Anticipated Project Timeline, from ADOT:
Mid January 2020 - Construction begins
Winter and Spring 2020 - Interchange closure begins
Late Summer 2021 - Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro reopens over Interstate 10 (interchange/ramps will not be open)