Scottsdale is starting construction today on a major Cactus Road widening project east of Loop 101, one of a number of projects now affecting the city's major east-west corridors.
Also starting Tuesday, 82nd Street will be closed south of Indian School Road through June 1 because of the construction project between Hayden and Pima roads that has limited traffic to one lane in each direction.
Cactus, Indian School, McDonald Drive and Indian Bend Road are all undergoing construction that will either widen or reconstruct roads and in some cases add traffic and pedestrian bridges.
Scottsdale officials said the city tries to schedule these major projects during the summer rather than during the peak shopping and tourist season. The Indian School, McDonald and Indian Bend projects are all slated to be done by Thanksgiving. The Cactus project is expected to take 18 months, while construction on the second phase of the Indian School project between Drinkwater Boulevard and Hayden Road will take place between April and November 2009.
The Cactus Road project will construct a four-lane road between the freeway and 96th Street, including medians, bike lanes, a sidewalk and an unpaved trail. The city has finished up the project east of 96th Street to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, which includes three new roundabouts.
Indian School Road is not adding traffic lanes between downtown and Loop 101, but is adding turn lanes, medians, bus bays and removing driveways. The city says this will improve traffic flow.
The McDonald Drive project has been ongoing since September 2007 and was delayed in part because it took longer to acquire property than expected and the discovery of a number of underground utility conflicts. The project, which does not add traffic lanes but did add new turn lanes and pedestrian bridges, is set to be done by July.
At the completion of the McDonald Drive project, Indian Bend Road will be closed over Indian Bend Wash for four months to allow construction of a new four-lane traffic bridge. Scottsdale traffic engineering director Paul Porell said drivers will still be able to access properties on Indian Bend from either Scottsdale or Hayden roads but will not be able to cross the wash.
Scottsdale city spokesman Mike Phillips said the city distributes traffic construction fliers to nearby residents and businesses and posts weekly traffic restrictions on the city Web site, www.scottsdaleaz.gov.
"We want to make sure people affected know what's coming and lessen the pain somewhat," Phillips said. "The flip side is we have better roads with increased traffic flow, more turn lanes, sidewalks and underground utilities."