PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation shut down part of Interstate 10 in both directions for most of Mother's Day weekend but said the closure hasn't created the traffic nightmare that was feared.
The I-10 is closed westbound between the Interstate 17 split and Seventh Avenue, and eastbound between the I-17 interchange and loop 202/State Route 51 interchange.
The closure was implemented so that APS crews could work on power lines in the area, but the power company and ADOT are taking advantage of the empty freeway to get other work done.
ADOT crews scrubbed down the I-10 tunnel and changed light bulbs. They also installed new signage on the eastbound I-10 near 16th Street.
APS is adding a circuit to the Seventh Street power line system to meet electrical demands.
ADOT said traffic around these closures has been flowing better than expected.
"We went into this with a great concern that we were going to have miles and miles of backup, but it really hasn't developed as the day has gone on, so we've actually been very pleased," ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said Saturday night. "We think a lot of the drivers here in the Valley actually did hear the message about trying to stay away and using the alternate routes."
According to ADOT, the longest backup has been about a mile and a half.
The stretch is scheduled to be closed until 11 p.m. on Mother’s Day, but ADOT is hoping to open it sooner than that.
Taking advantage of the closed tunnel to change light bulbs and clean tunnel lights. pic.twitter.com/CKCHy7FxK1— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 11, 2014
Just finshed putting up the new signage on I-10 eastbound near 16th St: pic.twitter.com/mz0wVJI4r6— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 11, 2014
After measuring twice and cutting once, crews are putting in place new signage on I-10 EB near Mini-Stack: pic.twitter.com/K05LI7JpXP— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 11, 2014
We're also installing new signage. This is going up on I-10 eastbound near Mini-Stack: pic.twitter.com/1jxyqx2Y1R— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 10, 2014
With I-10 closed thru downtown Phoenix for APS' project, we're taking advantage of empty tunnel & giving it a scrub: pic.twitter.com/pHFnUfGtXk— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 10, 2014