The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are nearing the start of construction on a project to improve the existing traffic interchange at Interstate 19 and Ajo Way in Tucson. The two-part project is expected to begin construction in early 2016 and will improve traffic efficiency and safety for the motoring public.
Project I, supported by $54.2 million in federal and local funds, will include replacement of the existing traffic interchange with a Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) over I-19. The new interchange will feature a widened Ajo Way bridge over I-19 with a single set of traffic signals controlling traffic entering and exiting the interstate rather than signals at multiple locations.
The SPUI will include new on- and off-ramps to I-19 and noise walls to buffer adjacent residential and commercial areas from construction and from traffic noise generated by the interstate.
Other elements of Project I, which is expected to begin construction in early 2016, include:
- Widening 500 feet of the southbound Irvington Road off-ramp to provide an additional turn lane and increased capacity to prevent traffic from backing up on the interstate
- Widening Ajo Way east of I-19 and upgrading the traffic signal at 16th Avenue
- Constructing noise walls along both sides of I-19 between Ajo Way and the Michigan Avenue pedestrian bridge to the south
- Constructing a new drainage basin southeast of the traffic interchange
- Improving drainage with new collection and discharge features
- Construction of a Julian Wash outfall channel
- Constructing a portion of a new drainage culvert for Rodeo Wash that runs beneath Ajo Way, with completion in the second phase of the project
- Reconstructing Lamar Avenue west of I-19
- Repaving Elizabeth Drive east of I-19
- Utility relocations
Work on Project I is expected to take 23 months to complete.
Project II, which is programmed to begin construction in Fiscal Year 2018, will include:
- Reconstruction and widening of southbound I-19 within the project area
- Construction of a “braided” ramp alignment with the southbound Ajo Way on-ramp to I-19 passing overtop the southbound Irvington off-ramp from I-19
- Widening of northbound I-19 to add an auxiliary lane between Irvington Road and Ajo Way
- Completion of I-19 noise walls south of Michigan Avenue and along the south side of Ajo Way between Kostka Avenue and I-19
- Completion of drainage improvements along with improve drainage collection features
- Replacement of the Michigan Avenue pedestrian bridge
- Replacement of the Santa Cruz River Bridge on Ajo Way
- Construction of bank protection and the new Rodeo Wash outlet into the Santa Cruz River
- Reconstruction and widening of Ajo Way from Holiday Isle to I-19
- Applying a rubberized pavement overlay of I-19 from Irvington Road to north of Ajo Way
The $29 million second phase, is expected to take 18 months to complete.