PHOENIX (AP) — State transportation officials have begun negotiating with a construction and engineering consortium for a massive project to expand and improve Interstate 17 in the hill country north of metro Phoenix.
The Department of Transportation said it has selected Keiwit-Fann-Joint Venture from among three finalists to be the “apparent preferred developer" to design, build, operate and maintain improvements to 23 miles (37 kilometers) of I-17 between Anthem Way and Sunset Point.
The project is intended to help avoid frequent traffic snarls on the freeway linking metro Phoenix with the Prescott, Sedona and Flagstaff areas and the Verde Valley to the north.
A key component will be construction of 8 miles (13 kilometers) of a new two-lane roadway that would be adjacent to the interstate's current southbound lanes but used for either southbound or northbound traffic, depending on the need.
ADOT said the final cost will be determined after contract negotiations but that $362.5 million of funding has already been secured from the state and other sources for the project.
Once there's a final contract, design and construction is expected to begin in 2022, with completion of construction in about three years, the department said.