The I-17 Improvement Project Has Reached Its One-Year Mark. What’s Been Done So Far?

By Jessica Swarner

September 28, 2023


  1. It’s been one year since construction began on I-17. The project is expected to finish in 2025.

  2. It’ll add new lanes to the freeway between Anthem Way and Sunset Point, more space on 10 bridges, and a full replacement of two bridges.

  3. The freeway remains open, with lane restrictions and closures happening only overnight on weekdays. 

  4. Right now, workers are removing 1.7 million cubic yards of material from mountainsides, which will be incorporated into the new roadway.

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Interstate 17 improvement project has hit its one-year mark since major construction began. The project is expected to finish in 2025, and will add new lanes to a 23-mile stretch of the freeway between Anthem Way and Sunset Point. 

Those new lanes will include two “flex lanes,” which can run either northbound or southbound based on traffic or road closures. The first of their kind in the Arizona highway system, the flex lanes will run along the existing southbound lanes for 8 miles between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. 

Map of I-17 improvement project (Arizona Department of Transportation graphic)

The current plan is for flex lanes to service northbound traffic from Monday through Saturday, and southbound traffic on Sundays. More information is available here

The I-17 improvement project also includes the widening of 10 bridges, and the full replacement of two bridges. 

What’s Been Done So Far? 

This past year was largely used for rock blasting and earthworking, which is the process of moving soil to change the level of land, according to ADOT. This work will continue into next year. 

ADOT officials said that workers are removing 1.7 million cubic yards of material from mountainsides and moving it to another area, to be worked into the project’s new roadway. 

Some of that material is already being used as a base for paving the southern lanes between Anthem Way and Table Mesa Road. The paving—which requires four different layers—started this summer and will continue into next year.  

The agency noted that the freeway has stayed open during this time of construction, with lane restrictions and closures only happening overnight on weekdays. The stretch of freeway being worked on sees more than 1 million travelers a year, according to ADOT. 

Sign up on ADOT’s website to receive email updates about the project. 

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  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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