I-10 Widening Project aims for three-year construction plan in early 2023

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A lot of the businesses off Sunset and Interstate 10 have been through major construction before. Tucsonans may remember I-10 was shut down near Ina for two years while crews built a new bridge.

Soon, there will be more construction as crews widen the interstate and work on the Frontage Road. Business owners near the planned construction said it was rough then, and it will probably be rough again next year when the new construction kicks off.

The I-10 expansion will be combined with the Sunset Road Extension project. This is set to extend Sunset Road over the railroad and over the Rillito River to River Road

It’s all one big project, and all one big headache for drivers and businesses lasting about three years. But, Garin Groff with the Department of Transportation said they are doing their best to plan for the traffic when the project kicks off next year.

“We’ll shift traffic to the frontage roads. We’ll be shifting traffic quite a bit. But we want to make sure there is still three lanes of traffic at all daytime hours,” he said.

He added that while they plan to have as many lanes open as possible. Making sure local businesses are set up for success is another big topic for the team.

“It’s really important to us that we maintain access to all businesses throughout the project,” he said.

One of those businesses that will be impacted is Cowtown Boots. Assistant Manager Kimberly Chadwick, said they are already planning for the construction and confusion that will be happening right outside the door. She said she’s counting on the power of social media to keep an open line of communication with her customers.

“We are kind of counting on our regulars. We’re counting on the tourists, those that are still traveling,” said Chadwick.

She also said her regular customers are what got the business through the last time they had major construction, saying, “Now it’s a one way and now we are going to go back to a two way. So those that are wanting to come and check out our store, it’s going to be back to ‘how do I get there, which direction do we go?’”

If the bidding process goes as anticipated for this project, ADOT expects to have a contractor on board by this winter, with construction beginning in early 2023.

You can learn more about the project here.

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