Road construction on State Route 347 that will cause months of delays for Maricopa motorists traveling to and from the Valley has begun.
The project kicked off overnight Monday with lane restrictions southbound SR 347 at the intersection of Old Maricopa Road, 1.75 miles west of Interstate 10, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The project to add new traffic signals and merge lanes at the intersection is expected to run through July.
Southbound lanes will narrow to one lane at times, but ADOT said it would ease the impact on commuters by opening both lanes during the evening rush, from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drivers can use Riggs Road via I-10 as an alternate route.
Crews are scheduled to focus on earthwork and paving along southbound SR 347 through July.
Northbound lane restrictions near Old Maricopa Road also will be needed this summer. Both lanes will be open for the morning rush, from 5 to 8 a.m. during the workweek.
Weekend work is not currently scheduled, the agency said.
The $1.3 million project, slated for completion by the fall, is aimed at speeding travel through the oft-congested area.
When the new traffic signals are operational, traffic on southbound Old Maricopa Road will be able to make left turns onto northbound SR 347 and use a new merge lane, or acceleration lane, to transition into the flow of traffic. The new traffic signal for northbound SR 347 is expected to remain green at nearly all times, the agency said.
Once the intersection improvements are completed, ADOT reminded drivers on both roadways to focus on safety by paying attention and being prepared for merging traffic.
The project is funded in part of Prop 400, a half-cent sales tax for regional transportation projects approved by voters in 2004, ADOT said.
ADOT will provide any updated information via the SR 347/Maricopa Road project’s website, media updates and the agency’s social media channels.