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The Arizona Department of Transportation is currently examining construction bids for the Ruthrauff Road and Interstate 10 traffic interchange. All contractors’ bids have been submitted, and now it’s just a matter of selecting the right one for the job. ADOT expects to select a bid later this month. 

The Interstate 10/Ruthrauff Road traffic interchange will be reconstructed to lower I-10 to run beneath Ruthrauff, and raise Ruthrauff Road to go over Davis Avenue/Highway Drive, as well as the Union Pacific Railroad. The reconstruction will also widen I-10 to four lanes in each direction, and widen Ruthrauff to two lanes in each direction. 

Due to the nature and location of the construction, the interchange work is being compared to the recently completed Ina Road construction, which occurred just three miles north. 

“They’re very similar projects, with similar benefits,” said Arizona Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Garin Groff. “However, one key difference of the Ruthrauff construction is that it will not continue west of the interchange like Ina did.” 

Another key difference between the Ina and Ruthrauff construction is the cost. While the Regional Transportation Authority spent roughly $128 million on Ina improvement projects, the Ruthrauff construction is expected to cost around $100 million. However, this number can change as contractors’ bids are still being examined. 

Once the interchange construction begins, Ruthrauff Road will be closed to all traffic at I-10 for up to 24 months. However, business access will be maintained throughout the project, and I-10 lanes are not expected to close, except for during possible overnight work. Construction is expected to finish in 2021.

“We expect utility work to continue through 2019, with construction starting very early in the year 2020,” Groff said. “But the exact dates depend on which bid is selected.” 

The interchange’s design was completed in 2013, and will feature retaining walls along Ruthrauff and I-10, as well as three proposed traffic signals, two over I-10 and one at Ruthrauff and Maryvale Avenue. The new local access roads will be at Davis Avenue/Highway Drive, Chester Way and Maryvale.

Demolition activities for the interchange are already complete, and preliminary environmental clearances are finishing up.

During the interchange’s closure, ADOT suggests traffic from I-10 access Ruthrauff by exiting on either Orange Grove Road or Prince Road. If north of Ruthrauff, I-10 traffic should exit on Sunset Road, or Orange Grove and take River Road and then La Cholla Boulevard to access Ruthrauff. If south of Ruthrauff, I-10 traffic should exit on Prince Road and take Flowing Wells Road to access Ruthrauff.

The Ruthrauff interchange construction is the final railroad overpass project in the Regional Transportation Authority’s current 20-year plan, currently effective through June 2026. Voters approved the regional transportation plan and associated half-cent excise tax in May 2006.

“The benefits for the Ruthrauff Road reconstruction are similar to the benefits of the Ina reconstruction in that we will eliminate drivers waiting at the railroad tracks,” Groff said. “Traffic can keep flowing on the exit ramps. It’s really about removing congestion and improving safety.” 

For more information on the construction, go to azdot.gov.

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