YUMA – The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin construction of two new roundabouts at the interchange of Interstate 8 and Araby Road in Yuma this summer in order to help traffic flow in a busy area and accommodate future growth.
On Friday, the Arizona State Transportation Board awarded an $8 million contract to J. Banicki Construction Inc. with an expedited start date to begin the first phase of the project in mid-July.
ADOT required an expedited start date so phase one of construction, which will occur on the north side of the interchange, will be complete when the agricultural season begins in November. Phase two of construction on the south side of the interchange is scheduled for summer through fall 2018.
“It was critical for us to phase the work in such a way that we would not impact the busy agricultural season,” said Paul Patane, district engineer in ADOT’s Southwest District.
One roundabout will be located north of I-8 and serve Araby Road and the westbound ramps. The other roundabout will be south of I-8 and serve Araby Road, the eastbound ramps and Gila Ridge Road. Both roundabouts are designed to accommodate large commercial trucks, agricultural equipment and recreational vehicles. Several area trucking and agricultural businesses provided input on the design to ensure that even the largest trucks can navigate through the roundabouts.
Drivers should expect delays and detours during both phases of construction, as lane restrictions on I-8 and ramp closures at Gila Ridge and Araby roads will be necessary. Alternate routes will include Avenue 8 ½ E and Avenue 3E. ADOT will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction on Araby Road, but drivers should plan for reduced speed limits and delays.
The project, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, also includes storm drains, a retention basin, concrete barriers and retaining walls, as well as lighting and landscaping.
The intersection of I-8 and Araby Road is among the busiest in Yuma and is used by approximately 22,000 vehicles per day. The new roundabouts will provide a high level of service beyond traffic projections for 2035 and fit into the existing ADOT right-of-way.
For more information on the project, visit azdot.gov/ArabyRoadTI.