When the $128 million Ina Road interchange project is complete, officials hope there will be new benefits, seen and unseen, for motorists.
The Arizona Department of Transportation expects to finish the interchange by mid-March, about 25 months since closing the busy area for construction.
One of the benefits will be new traffic cameras to better manage traffic volume . Officials will be able to make the proper determinations to ensure motorists have the most efficient ride possible.
Seeing drivers operating normally in the area means the cameras are doing their job, according to Tom Herrmann, an ADOT spokesman.
“What we’re using the cameras for is to count traffic and try to identify if the delays are too long for people coming off the freeway, and for people coming across Ina Road over the freeway,” Herrmann said.
“The idea there is to get a good traffic count and be able to adjust things on the fly.”
The cameras are installed on traffic lights and will give a 360-degree view of the intersection where the I-10 off-ramp meets Ina Road.
Herrmann said the cameras will be used only for traffic management, not for enforcement .
Another thing drivers won’t have to deal with is the closure of a travel lane to fix traffic signals, which traditionally have been installed under the pavement to determine traffic volume. With the updated cameras, crews won’t have to cut into the road to fix a sensor.
“If we need to make any repairs, if we need to make any adjustments to the cameras itself, we don’t have to get out a saw, close a freeway lane and cut the freeway open again to get down to the sensors to make a change or replace the sensor,” Herrmann said.
He said it’ll make it smoother, simpler and less expensive to make changes. There won’t be a major impact to roads and the adjustments can be made in less time.
And there will no longer be delays at the railroad crossing on Ina: New bridges will allow motorists to pass over the trains.
The interchange completion will also signal the reopening of the Orange Grove Road exit from I-10 west, which was closed due to worries that too much traffic, unable to get off at Ina, would back up that exit , posing a serious safety problem.
After the interchange opens, Ina Road will still see some widening work toward the Santa Cruz River. It will be completed by May, Herrmann said.
“We’re trying to make these interchanges better, and better serve the community,” Herrmann said.
“We’re looking forward to getting this complete and letting the community benefit from what we’ve been doing for the past 25 months.”
Down the Road
Crews to work on Ina Road near interchange project
Construction crews will reduce westbound I-10 to one lane Tuesday night for barrier work related to the new interchange, set to open next month.
The work is expected to last from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday between Cortaro and Sunset roads.
Drivers should use caution, slow down and watch for active personnel and heavy equipment in the area.
Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1