Seeing, or being in, a line of cars stacked up behind barriers waiting for a long train to cross the street can be a source of frustration, delay and safety concerns, all of which are why the Arizona Department of Transportation is building a bridge for Ruthrauff Road traffic to go over the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks and Interstate 10.
The project is one of the 20-year Regional Transportation Authority plan’s 35 major roadway corridors to undergo construction. Pima County voters approved the plan in 2006.
The work includes lowering I-10 to go underneath West Ruthrauff/El Camino del Cerro and raising Ruthrauff/El Camino del Cerro to go over the railroad, I-10 and Davis Ave./Highway Drive east of the railroad tracks.
In addition, I-10 will be widened to four lanes in each direction, and Ruthrauff will be widened to two lanes in each direction at the intersection.
What work has been completed so far:
The project is approximately 85% complete. The bridge over I-10 and the railroad tracks has opened for one lane of traffic in each direction.
On the interstate, westbound traffic has shifted back to its permanent alignment. The westbound exit ramps at Ruthrauff and Sunset have opened, as has the westbound frontage road from Ruthrauff to Sunset. The eastbound frontage road has reopened to one-way traffic from Sunset to Prince.
Many local streets have reopened, though the Davis Avenue/Highway Drive underpass remains closed.
What’s happening now?
Crews are finishing work on eastbound I-10, including drainage, landscaping and final pavement operations, plus a small section of eastbound frontage road work near Diamond Street.
Contractors also are continuing work on concrete barriers throughout the project, plus sidewalks, painting and landscaping.
The westbound frontage road remains closed from Prince to Ruthrauff.
What’s to come?
The Davis Avenue/Highway Drive underpass remains closed at this point in the project. As the work begins to near completion, the remaining steps will lead to opening three ramps from Ruthrauff/El Camino del Cerro to I-10: the westbound on-ramp, and the on and off ramps for eastbound traffic.
Projected completion date:
End of 2021.