ADOT begins widening project along I-10 in Picacho

ADOT begins widening project along I-10 in Picacho

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Construction crews have started clearing ground along Interstate 10 for a long-awaited project that will widen a portion of the highway.

The four-mile stretch from mile marker 209 to 213 will be extended to three lanes in each direction, creating more room on the freeway for drivers like Lisa McCombs.

"That would be fantastic, she said. "Traffic gets pretty bad through here especially on the weekends."

The project will also include building a new interchange with SR-87, and a dust-detection warning zone.

"It gets pretty bad at times. You hit it and can't really see anything, you have to pull off to the side of the road and wait," said Dallas Boullioe.

Detectors will be placed along the interstate from mile marker 209 to 219. The 10-mile stretch is known for having massive dust storms that blow through the road, blinding drivers and in some cases causing deadly crashes.

According to a five-year Arizona Department of Transportation study, 43 of the 85 dust-related crashes between Tucson and Phoenix occurred right in the middle of where the dust-detection system will be placed.

ADOT officials say billboards will be able to alert drivers about the current conditions.

"Anything we can do to improve it that'll be great," said Boullioe about the upcoming changes.

Officials with ADOT hope to wrap up the entire project by the fall of 2019.

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