PHOENIX – About three months after completing the first phase of improvements to the interchange of Interstate 19 and Ajo Way in Tucson, Arizona Department of Transportation crews have begun the second half of the project.
Work on water and sewer lines to clear the way for the project started this week. Drivers likely won’t see restrictions on area roads until this fall.
The $32 million project includes building a new bridge over the Santa Cruz River, widening Ajo Way between I-19 and Holiday Isle Boulevard, replacing the pedestrian bridge at Michigan Street and creating a braided ramp south of Ajo Way (State Route 86). The Pima Association of Governments, the regional transportation-planning agency, is contributing about $6 million toward the cost.
The braided ramp will have the entrance ramp to southbound I-19 at Ajo Way going over the exit ramp for Irvington Road. The design avoids having drivers maneuver around each other as they enter or exit the freeway. Some of the work to create the braided ramp was completed during the first phase of the project.
Work on the second phase is expected to take about 18 months and should be complete in January 2020.
Improvements during the $54 million first phase included a wider Ajo Way bridge over I-19, new ramps and new interchange design with a single set of signals controlling traffic flow. Other improvements included a wider Irvington Road exit lane, noise walls from Ajo Way south to Irvington Road, a wider Ajo Way east of I-19, a repaved Elizabeth Drive and a reconstructed Lamar Avenue.
For more information on this project, visit azdot.gov/AjoWay.