Driving north of Phoenix? Expect major I-17 closures overnight for the next few months

Travelers driving on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix at night will need to prepare for major closures on the highway for the next few months.

For the next eight months, the Arizona Dept. of Transportation is planning to shut down the highway in both directions two or three times a week Mondays through Thursdays overnight.

The closures are for "controlled rock blasting" as part of the I-17 Improvement Project from Anthem Way to Sunset Point.

The blasting is expected to happen between 10 and 11 p.m., but the overnight closures could potentially last until 4 a.m. based on weather, traffic conditions or any other "unforeseen circumstances."

The first closures are planned on Wednesday, Nov. 30 and Thursday, Dec. 1 between 10 p.m. - 11 p.m.

"On weeknights when controlled rock blasting is scheduled, crews will begin narrowing I-17 to a single lane in both directions at 7 p.m. and then fully close the highway after 10 p.m.," ADOT said in a statement.

The improvement project is meant to improve traffic congestion north of the Valley, widening 15 miles of roadway between Anthem Way to Black Canyon City and eventually adding an 8-mile flex lane system between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.

"You’ll see those flex lanes open on Friday and Saturday, when traffic is moving from Phoenix into the northern region of the state, and then, when that traffic is heading back south on a Sunday afternoon, the flex lanes will be open going southbound," said Laura Douglas with ADOT.

Latest updates on closures: https://www.improvingi17.com/traffic-alerts/

Learn more about the project: https://www.improvingi17.com/

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