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New North Phoenix and Grove Road alignments open
After a solid weekend of work in March, the new eastside road alignments are open, including a temporary northbound on ramp.
Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists should continue to travel the area with caution.
The change is significant because it opens an entire new phase of construction.
The $72 million Fern Valley Interchange project is approaching the end of the first year of more than two years of construction. Scheduled for completion in September 2016, the Fern Valley Interchange project in Phoenix encompasses I-5, Oregon 99 and Fern Valley Road.
Over the winter new bridge beams were placed and the deck poured and cured. While work proceeded on the west side of the interstate bridge approach, little work could be done on the east side approach until traffic was moved onto a temporary northbound on-ramp and new North Phoenix alignments.
The timeline then advances for the east and west bridge approaches. By the end of this year, drivers should be on the I-5 bridge, and the north side ramps – the new southbound off and northbound on-ramps.
Once traffic is on the new bridge, Hamilton will focus on demolishing the old, two-lane bridge and begin constructing ramps to the south side of the bridge. That will bring into play the temporary northbound off ramp.
Workers are preparing approaches and setting rail forms for the first half of the new four-lane Bear Creek Bridge west of the Shoppes at Exit 24.
Work will soon reach a point where drivers will switch to the new bridge. During the summer months, the old bridge will be demolished to its foundations and the new half of the bridge will rise.
“The demolition and construction below the ordinary high water mark can only be done between June 15 and September 15. Those summer months are called the In Water Work Period set aside to protect anadromous fish.
Meantime, work had begun rebuilding Oregon 99, Bolz Road and Fern Valley Roads. This work includes a new water line for the City of Phoenix.
The $72 million Fern Valley Interchange project began in in the spring of 2014. Due to the projects size and complexity - it encompasses east and west Phoenix roadways, I-5 and Oregon 99 - the project requires more than two full construction seasons, finishing in September 2016. It also includes bike and pedestrian connections.
Diverging Diamond Interchange
The new interchange bridge is being constructed just north of the existing bridge, leaving most roadways west of the interchange relatively untouched. The Diverging Diamond interchange design has a narrow footprint, which helps avoid touching most businesses during and after the project.
Check out the latest project video: