YUMA ‒ One of the Yuma area’s largest road construction projects in recent years will begin in mid-July, but preparations for the work mean road closures and restrictions on Araby and Gila Ridge roads at Interstate 8 will begin as soon as the July 4 holiday ends.
Beginning Wednesday, July 5, drivers will want to allow extra time and consider alternate routes while utility crews begin relocating underground lines in the work zone. Restrictions and road closures will be in place 24 hours a day through July 16. Work on the $8 million project to build two modern roundabouts at the interchange is scheduled to begin July 17.
Here are the restrictions that will be in place beginning July 5:
- The westbound Interstate 8 on-ramp and the eastbound I-8 off-ramp at Araby Road will be closed, and a right-turn only restriction will be in place from westbound I-8 to northbound Araby Road. Drivers on Araby Road will be able to access the eastbound on-ramp from either direction. Consider using Avenue 3E or Avenue 8½ E instead.
- Araby Road will be narrowed to one 11-foot lane in each direction from the north side of I-8 (approximately 26th Street) to the south side of I-8 (30th Street), and the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph. Vehicles wider than 10 feet must use an alternate route. Drivers can use Avenue 3E or Avenue 8½ E.
- Gila Ridge Road will be closed in both directions just south of Araby Road at the Tanimura and Antle Produce building. Access to the building will remain open on the west side of the building. Plan for heavy traffic and allow extra time.
On July 17, Arizona Department of Transportation crews will begin work on the north side of I-8, constructing the first of two modern roundabouts that will move traffic through one of the busiest freeway interchanges in Yuma. Work is expected to continue until November and then stop to allow heavier winter commercial traffic to pass through the area without restrictions. Construction will resume in the spring and is expected to conclude by late 2018.
The second roundabout, on the south side of the freeway, also will connect with Gila Ridge Road, a busy commercial route.
Drivers should expect delays and detours, including lane restrictions and closures at Gila Ridge and Araby roads. Alternate routes will include Avenue 8 ½ E and Avenue 3E. ADOT will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction on Araby Road while construction is underway, but drivers should plan for reduced speed limits and delays.
Drivers can sign up to receive project updates and travel alerts by email at azdot.gov/ArabyRoadTI.