PHOENIX -- Interstate 10 will be closed near downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport this weekend due to an Arizona Public Service power line project.
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Westbound I-10 will be closed between the I-17 "Split" near the airport and Seventh Avenue while eastbound I-10 will be closed between the I-17 "Stack" interchange and the Loop 202/State Route 51 interchange from 2 a.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday.
The westbound Loop 202 and southbound SR 51 ramps to westbound I-10 also will be closed.
I-10 traffic will be detoured to Interstate 17 south and west of the downtown area, but heavy congestion and delays can be expected.
The Arizona Department of Transportation recommends drivers plan ahead, allow plenty of extra travel time and use alternate routes if at all possible.
Sky Harbor travelers may want to consider these alternate ways to approach or leave the airport:
-- East Valley drivers should plan on using westbound Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) to the Sky Harbor exit leading to the airport's east end entrance.
-- West Valley drivers should consider avoiding eastbound I-10 near the I-17 junction and instead work on a travel plan using surface streets to get to the airport.
-- Travelers using southbound I-17 from northern Arizona should consider using eastbound Loop 101 and southbound State Route 51 to approach the airport. The southbound SR 51 ramp to eastbound I-10 leading to the Sky Harbor exit will be open, although heavier traffic is expected.
-- Drivers heading to Sky Harbor from Tucson should also allow extra travel time and be prepared to use northbound State Route 143 (Hohokam Expressway) to the airport's east entrance
ADOT officials said the I-10 closure is required to allow crews working on the APS project to safely remove three older power lines and replace them with six new power lines in the area of the Seventh Street overpass.
According to APS, the work will add a second circuit to the Seventh Street power-line system to meet higher electrical demands and ensure greater reliability in the Phoenix area.
While the APS power line work is underway, ADOT also will have crews conducting maintenance work in and near the I-10 Deck Park Tunnel.