Traffic will slow to a crawl – or stop — this weekend as overpass construction triggers a closure on U.S. 60 at Gilbert Road.

The work will force all traffic off the freeway at Gilbert, and close the Gilbert road overpass.

Officials advise drivers to avoid the area and expected traffic jams.

"As with previous full closures, we’re urging drivers to exit well in advance of the closure and to use Baseline (Road) or Southern (Avenue) as alternate routes," said Doug Nintzel, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The closure starts at 11 p.m. Friday and lasts until 5 a.m. Monday.

Drivers can stay on the freeway until Gilbert Road, where they will exit, cross over Gilbert Road and immediately re-enter the freeway. Gilbert Road will be closed to allow a free flow of traffic. But because so many lanes funnel onto the comparatively narrow ramps, traffic will slow considerably.

The closure includes the westbound entrance ramp at Val Vista Drive and eastbound entrance ramp at Stapley Drive.

This work is a sign the overpass widening project is winding down at Gilbert Road. Crews will put up signs, remove barriers, install fencing and remove falsework, which is temporary wood framing used when pouring concrete.

By next month, ADOT expects to finish the $3.5 million project to cut down on congestion by adding dual left-turn lanes on the overpass.

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