A road improvement project along 17 miles of S.R. 88 east of Phoenix is expected to be completed by the end of summer, according to Arizona state officials.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) said that the $6.5 million project focuses on roads beginning 3 miles east of Apache Junction and ending 7 miles east of Tortilla Flat within the Tonto National Forest.
S.R. 88, also known as Apache Trail, is a scenic, winding road that leads to Canyon Lake and other recreational areas east of Phoenix. The improvement project was launched in November.
Crews have been adjusting roadway curves at six locations, paving selected pullouts, updating signage and pavement markings, replacing guardrails, and removing rocks to limit rock fall onto the roadway, according to the ADOT website.
Certain portions of the road have been restricted or closed for extended periods during the project, causing drivers occasional frustration. But a video clip posted on ADOT’s website Wednesday, showing an explosion that sent large chunks of rocks tumbling onto the highway, seems to justify the road restrictions. Crews are removing the overhanging rock from cliffs nearby with explosives to limit the possibility of rock falling onto the highway, the agency said.
Source: Arizona Republic / ADOT