Pictured: Residents gathered at Canon Elementary School in Black Canyon City to provide public feedback and see ADOT's proposed improvement plans to the I-17 between Anthem and Cordes Junction.
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ADOT meeting in Black Canyon City presenting I-17 improvements draws large crowd


Tara Alatorre
BLACK CANYON CITY – Residents from communities in Maricopa and Yavapai counties piled into Canon Elementary School on April 3 to hear the Arizona Department of Transportation’s proposal to improve a stretch of the Interstate-17 from Anthem to Cordes Junction.

About 200 people attended the meeting to see Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) plans that would potentially add lanes on the 1-17 in both directions, widen medians in areas and add “flex lanes” to help mitigate traffic jams. 

ADOT also gathered feedback from the public about the proposed improvements, which were apparently well received considering the crowd broke out into applause at one point, according to ADOT sources.

Any resident of the area or weekend traveler knows this 23-mile segment along the I-17 from mile post 245-260 is notorious for its constant, immense traffic jams, especially during holiday weekends or if there is a vehicle collision. 

The “flex lanes” would allow ADOT to open lanes going either northbound or southbound, and its access would be controlled by a series of gates or another similar mechanism along with signs indicating that the lanes are open for use. 

The flex lanes or reversible lanes would have northbound access near Black Canyon City and southbound access near Sunset Point. The flex lanes would allow traffic to flow better by opening an additional lane when needed during peak times and could be used when needed for holiday congestion or accidents.

The improvements were spurred on by a study ADOT has been conducting in recent years focusing on long-term improvements to roadway conditions in the area. Now that the department has gathered the public’s input the design concept report will need to be finalized and environmental documentation submitted, which is expected to be completed by this Fall.

ADOT hopes to begin construction by 2021.

For more information visit, www.azdot.gov/planning/transportation-studies/i-17-anthem-way-to-cordes-junction-sr-69/overview .