TRAVELER ALERT: I-17 closed at Carefree Highway this weekend for bridge demolition

Drivers are urged to plan for extra travel time this weekend while Interstate 17 is closed at Carefree Highway (State Route 74) for bridge demolition work.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says crews will tear down the old Carefree Highway bridge over I-17 to make room for a new, wider bridge already under construction. The bridge project is one part of a multi-year I-17 improvement effort by ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

I-17 will be closed in both directions at Carefree Highway from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday (March 17). To ensure the safety of the traveling public, I-17 traffic will be detoured along the exit and entrance ramps at the Carefree Highway interchange.

Traffic signals will be adjusted to allow freeway traffic to travel along the interchange ramps as quickly as possible. Arizona Department of Public Safety officers will be available to assist with traffic control. Drivers are encouraged to consider alternate routes when possible.

The $19.6 million I-17/Carefree Highway reconstruction project will provide a modern interchange with capacity to handle increased traffic in the area. Carefree Highway traffic was recently moved to the first half of the new bridge over I-17. Once the adjacent old bridge is removed this weekend, crews will build the remainder of the new bridge. The entire project is scheduled for completion this fall.

Drivers can go to ADOT's Travel Information site at www.az511.com or call 5-1-1 for highway restriction information. You also can click on ADOT's Interstate 17 Web page at www.azdot.gov/ValleyFreeways for the times and locations of planned restrictions and closures on I-17 and sign up for ADOT's I-17 weekly e-mail traffic alerts and podcasts.

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