Loop 101: Major freeway closure this weekend

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PHOENIX -- Construction crews will shut down westbound Loop 101 between State Route 51 and 19th Avenue Friday night to begin work on a major project.

ADOT is building the final 30 miles of HOV lanes in both directions along the 101 between the 51 in north Phoenix and Interstate 10 in Tolleson.

That section of the freeway will be closed all weekend beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, reopening just in time for rush hour Monday morning.

Westbound traffic will be diverted to the southbound 51. From there, drivers can use westbound Union Hills Drive of Bell Road to get past the closure.

The eastbound lanes of the 101 in that same area -- between 19th Avenue and the 51 -- will be closed next weekend.

The project, which is expected to be completed by late fall, will require a series of weekend closures to allow crews to set up work zones to build the new lanes along the center median.

During the construction, the speed limit on the 101 will be reduced from 65 mph to 55 mph. If you get caught speeding and there are workers present at the time, the fine is double.

In addition to the new HOV lanes, crews will also add sections of third regular lanes in each direction on the 101 in the area beneath Interstate 17, which is a busy junction.

The freeway bridges at 19th, 31st and 35th avenues will be widened to accommodate the expanded freeway.

Two new overhead message signs will also be installed, one westbound at 67th Avenue, the other northbound at Northern Avenue.

The $90 million expansion project was approved by voters in 2004.