Being stuck in rush hour traffic on US 60 westbound was an all too familiar experience for drivers in the Tempe/Phoenix area, with 580 traffic incidents from 2013 to 2017 creating further congestion. Part of the problem centered on a roadway configured to split traffic going eastbound towards Tucson onto a single ramp lane, while westbound traffic merged onto Interstate 10 to Phoenix. Despite proper markings and signage, drivers would continue to find themselves needing to crossover multiple lanes of traffic or, worse, going the wrong way. Before the start of this $240,000 project, the Arizona DOT spent time observing traffic patterns, closing a two-mile stretch of US 60 going westbound to gather data. On the weekend of July 13, 2018, the agency closed the section once more to make needed changes, including the installation of a two-lane ramp for eastbound traffic and improved striping on the roads.
Within two months, those changes reduced crashes by 70 percent and alleviated major traffic back-ups during the evening rush hour. With traffic safety, signage, and striping teams all working together in one weekend, the Arizona DOT didn’t have to schedule more closures to get the project completed. Also, with all the work done in-house, the project saved the agency money – all while helping motorists get where they need to go faster and safer.