Arizona DOT adopts new intersection designs in Tucson area

A new single set of traffic signals on Interstate 19 and State Route 86 (Ajo Way) designed to move traffic more quickly through the intersection, will be up and running this month.

The design allows traffic to move more efficiently through an intersection.   File photo

A new single set of traffic signals on Interstate 19 and State Route 86 (Ajo Way) designed to move traffic more quickly through the intersection, will be up and running this month. 

The new signals will guide motorists through what the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) calls a traffic configuration designed for efficiency and safety and marks the third single-point urban interchange in the Tucson area. 

“We have an opportunity at Ajo Way and I-19 to use a design that allows traffic to move more efficiently through the intersection more quickly because drivers only have to move through one set of lights instead of two,” ADOT South Central District regional traffic engineer James Gomes said in a press release. 

According to the ADOT, the interchange design, first created in Clearwater, Florida in 1974, creates safety advantages by accommodating larger vehicles such as trucks and recreational vehicles. Other single-point urban interchanges are located at Interstate 19 and Valencia Road and at Kino Parkway and State Route 210 (Barraza-Aviation Parkway).

According to the ADOT, crews have completed the project's first phase which included a new bridge deck. Phase one also includes widening Ajo Way and improving the exit ramps at Ajo Way and Irvington Road. The project's second phase is pending bids from contractors and includes widening southbound Interstate 19, adding a northbound transition lane between Irvington and Ajo Way and a new bridge over the Santa Cruz River.  

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