To solve traffic problems in heavily traveled areas, the Arizona Department of Transportation decided to install roundabouts at strategic intersections, including one at Interstate 8 and Araby Road (State Highway 195).
Work in this area, which had been suspended for five months to accommodate the impact on Yuma's winter visitors and the peak produce season, resumed March 26 and is expected to be completed by November. The new roundabout will connect eastbound I-8 ramps at Araby Road and Gila Ridge Road.
To avoid delays, motorists are advised to seek alternate routes including Fortuna Road to the east and Avenue 3E to the west.
Studies have shown the intersection of I-8 and Araby Road is among the busiest in Yuma, traveled by approximately 22,000 vehicles each day. In future years, it is expected that even more cars will travel that route, and the new improvement is expected to accommodate traffic flow up to 2035.
A positive aspect of this new construction is that it will fit into the existing Arizona DOT right-of-way. There will be no need to acquire additional right-of-way.
In addition to passenger cars, the new roundabouts at I-8 and Araby Road will accommodate large commercial trucks, agricultural equipment and recreational vehicles. To ensure the improvements are adequate, several area trucking and agricultural stakeholders provided their input on the design. They made sure that even the largest trucks would be able to pass safely through the roundabouts.
Arizona DOT says comprehensive traffic studies have determined that modern roundabouts often provide a safer solution to traffic problems than signalized intersections.