ADOT's Interstate 17 improvement project focus for 2023: rock blasting

The Arizona Department of Transportation is making progress on the Interstate 17 improvement project. Crews are working around the clock to widen the stretch of road between Anthem and Sunset Point. It's a project costing almost $500 million.

ADOT crews have been busy this year, blasting and crushing hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of material.

"We will be blasting and excavating 1.7 million cubic yards of rock and material. That is a lot. This is a huge, monumental task," said ADOT's Laura Douglas. "We're about 50% done with the blasting at this point. We do the blasting about three times a week on average during the nighttime hours from 10 to 11 p.m."

All of this makes way for a 23-mile stretch of improvements from Anthem to Sunset Point. The work includes widening 15 miles of roadway, replacing two bridges, and widening 10 others and constructing about eight miles of flex lanes.

The main focus this year has been blasting. 

Once a section is complete, the material is brought to the rock garden to be crushed and fully repurposed back into the project.

 "We're using all of the material comes out of our area, along this corridor so we don't have to bring a whole lot of material in, so there's a huge advantage to that when you talk about.. using material that goes really just back into the project to create these new lanes.. these flex lanes, and the general purpose lanes." 


Construction begins on I-17 from Phoenix to Sunset Point: What to expect and for how long

Construction is underway on the I-17 improvement project – we have the details on what drivers can expect and how long this project is going to be going on.

On, ADOT officials state, "The flex lane system is a proven technology to alleviate traffic congestion during peak travel times, or if an unplanned incident creates delays. The flex lanes will operate as an additional two-lane roadway that carries one direction of traffic at a time and can alternate between north- and southbound depending on the greatest need due to capacity.

The entire project is expected to be complete by 2025.

ADOT lists the project's benefits:

  • Enhanced safety
  • Improved traffic flow
  • Added capacity
  • Supporting economic growth

The department says to expect:

  • Daytime and overnight construction activities
  • Traffic detours
  • Intersection and bridge closures
  • Controlled rock blasting
  • Construction noise (rock blasting and crushing equipment)
  • Construction lighting
  • Reduced speeds