Six months into the Ina Road Interchange project and the work progresses on schedule. The Ina Road Interchange will open in about a year and a half, on pace with the hopes of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Construction for the bridge pier columns has begun, and the installation of a storm drain on east side of I-10, another key part of the project, nears completion at an appropriate pace.
“The contractor is moving along on schedule,” said ADOT Senior Community Relations Officer Paki Rico.
Due to high temperatures, some asphalt work has been done at night, which caused an overnight road closure on the frontage road last week and closures may continue in the future. In areas affected by closures, law enforcement will help with confused motorists and those working on-site.
The project will create changes to the roadways, some to take place in early 2019. West Ina Road at I-10, including the east and westbound I-10 on and off-ramps at Ina, will close the longest—until early 2019. Although access remains limited, West Ina Road east and west of I-10 remains open, and ADOT will maintain access to all businesses in the work zone for the duration of the project.
So far, construction hasn’t affected many of the area businesses. Many are primarily “destination” businesses with a devoted customer base, or those that do not rely on customers coming to them like contractors.
Those that do rely more on drive-by traffic and spontaneous patrons, restaurants and hotels, have felt a pinch. The Hooters and Jack In the Box both closed, while Chuy’s and Chicken Neuvo moved their locations.
The Town of Marana and ADOT have done their part to alleviate the hardship to businesses.
The town created a Project Ina app to help businesses promote themselves and give construction updates to residents. They also loosened sign codes, as well as put up additional signage to try to spark interest in the area. ADOT provided free consulting to area businesses.
The project has not only affected Ina Road. Due to traffic backing up onto the freeway, ADOT closed the westbound off ramp at Orange Grove, meaning those who want to access either West Orange Grove or West Ina Roads, need to get off at Sunset.
Drivers can access the eastbound I-10 frontage road from the west side of West Ina Road via a new access road, west of I-10. This will allow access to I-10 via the West Orange Grove on-ramps. The eastbound I-10 frontage road between Gillette Road and Starcommerce Way is a two-way roadway.
West Ina Road narrows to one lane in each direction between I-10 and North Silverbell Road and traffic will shift to the north side of the road through fall of 2017.
West Massingale Road is closed at the westbound I-10 frontage road through late 2018 while construction on the frontage road continues. Drivers should use Camino de Oeste instead.
The project also includes reconstruction of the Ina Road bridges over the Santa Cruz River. This work has closed the Pima County Loop Trail, south of West Ina Road at Ted Walker Road and north of Ina Road at the Crossroads at Silverbell District Park, for approximately two years. Once work wraps up on the bridge project, the Loop Trail will have underpasses on each side of the Santa Cruz River, new bike lanes and sidewalks along West Ina Road and ramps to West Ina Road that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Some concrete work on the new bridge will begin in mid July.
Other portions of the project either underway or about to begin include drilled shaft foundations for the Union Pacific Rail Road bridge. One of the key pieces to the project is having Ina Road go over the railroad tracks to avoid traffic congestion, as well as improved safety.