Fern Valley Interchange project moving toward 2014 construction date
ODOT is currently working on final design and right of way, in preparation for the November 14 bid opening for the Phoenix interchange project. Construction with the prime contractor will begin in early 2014. Between now and then, drivers will see utility relocation work and tree clearing in preparation for the larger interchange project.
ODOT project managers are also examining project staging options that
minimize impacts to the driving public as well as Phoenix area interchange
businesses. Last year, a ‘constructability review’ that included
representatives from two large construction companies helped vet sequencing to
minimize inconvenience to drivers while opening a wide area for the contractor
to work and get the project completed.
This staging will include the use of temporary on and off ramps for both
northbound and southbound traffic, and some short term closures to get those
open. To get the project constructed, Phoenix area motorists should expect a
change in their daily routes and drivers will need to be flexible. Again, the
intent is to keep business open and traffic moving.
Phoenix City Council - Aug 19, 2013 Final.pdf
Aesthetic Design links:
Fern Valley Interchange Bridge and I-5
View from Greenway to Fern Valley Road
The Federal Highway Administration approved its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Fern Valley Interchange project last year. This action follows release of the Environmental Assessment in the winter of 2010 after six years of project development. A local team, with the help of landscape architect developed aesthetic features for the two bridges in the interchange area taking into account the local landscape and the influence of the pear growing industry.
The Environmental Assessment findings and supporting documents are linked below.
Click here to see the latest overall design file
Click here to see the Fern Valley Interchange Environmental Assessment
Signed FONSI - June 30, 2011
Final FONSI - September 6, 2011
The Fern Valley Interchange, located at Interstate 5 exit 24, experiences traffic congestion throughout the day, especially during the morning and afternoon commute. New and proposed development on the east side of I-5, as well as development growth within the Rogue Valley, are choking the interchange's capacity and causing safety concerns.
The $73 million project is scheduled to begin construction in 2013. The Fern Valley interchange is expected to be constructed using a 'crossing' or 'diverging diamond' design that provides a higher capacity to move traffic while requiring lower right-of-way needs.
The Missouri Department of Transportation was the first agency to construct a diverging diamond interchange in the United States. This interchange design can be constructed for a relatively smaller price tag than more conventional designs, and is safer because there are fewer conflicting moves. Vehicles crossing the interchange move to the opposite side of the road to either enter I-5 or to cross it, reducing the number of traffic signal cycles for traffic to clear.
Project design background
project's design phase started in 2004 and went through a major overhaul in
2006 when local opposition rose against plans to widen Highway 99 in Phoenix.
The "Fern Valley Through" design alternative was eliminated late last
year, on the counsel of the Department of Justice, because it would have an
adverse impact on nearby farm land.
Fern Valley Interchange Timeline
October 2010 Environmental Assessment published
February 2011 PDT recommends Build Alternative
City of Phoenix Approves IAMP
June 2011 Federal Highway signs the FONSI
October 2013 Project goes to Contract
Early 2014 Construction Begins
2016 Construction Complete