PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Tonto National Forest are starting a project this week to pave and make other improvements to an 11-mile gravel section of the highway between Apache Lake and the Theodore Roosevelt Dam.
The work includes installing an aggregate base and covering it with a chip seal, as well as improving drainage features that are not functional or have been damaged by flooding. The project will also improve sight lines at five locations.
The project is intended to improve the resilience of the roadway during heavy rainfall and reduce the amount of repair work required after flooding. Because current drainage features are unable to handle more severe storms, the improvements will prevent further damage and closures that limit public access.
The roughly $18 million project is expected to take about one year, with work scheduled from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
Drivers should plan for flagging operations and temporary closures of up to 20 minutes while crews are working. Also, motorists should prepare to slow down and allow for extra travel time.
A 7-mile section of SR88 east of the Fish Creek Overlook remains closed due to extensive roadway damage and rock debris. A study to evaluate feasible options on restoring access to that portion of the road is expected to be finished in 2023.