Southern Avenue closed in Phoenix for freeway construction

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Arizona Department of Transportation will close Southern Avenue between 51st and 67th avenues starting Monday, Nov. 27.

Doug Nintzel, an ADOT spokesman, estimates 10,000 vehicles a day drive through Southern and 59th avenues.

The closure is to allow for the construction of the Southern Avenue interchange of Loop 202. 

“We’re going to need to have it closed for several months here into the spring while we do the construction on the south half of the interchange. That includes putting at least much of the bridge in place over Southern Avenue,” said Nintzel.

Traffic will be detoured to Baseline and Broadway Roads. Nintzel said the project planners are working with the City of Phoenix on things like the timing of traffic lights, to allow a smooth flow of traffic on those two streets who will pick up the majority of the cars that would normally be on Southern Avenue.

“We’re going to make sure that we can maintain the local access for folks that do need to get through there. We’ve been working with some of the local businesses, a dairy for example, so that traffic will be able to still make access to those businesses here along Southern Avenue,” said Nintzel.

Motorist Michael Mason uses Southern Avenue in the area every day to drive to and from work. He has been aware the closure was coming and is not looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be absolute mayhem on Baseline and Broadway and any other streets in between, early in the morning for people on their way to work and on their way home in the afternoon,” said Mason.

While aware of the closure, Mason did not realize it was going to last into the spring, at least through March, and maybe into April, according to Nintzel.

“That’s kind of scary thinking about what the next several months is going to be like trying to get to work and get the kids to school on time. And then get home at a decent time to start dinner and family time and things like that,” said Mason.

This is the second South Mountain Freeway interchange under construction in the Laveen area. Last month, work started on the Elliot Road overpass. Elliot Road at 59th Avenue will remain closed through the end of March.

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