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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 1, 2004
Contact: Nancy Singer, Brian C. Keeter, 202-366-0660
FHWA 16-04

Nation's Top Highway Official Says Arizona's East Valley Detour Idea Boon to Economy, Taxpayers and Commuters

While many freeway projects are marked with seemingly endless traffic delays and confusing detours, engineers building the new "SuperRedTan" interchange in the East Valley found a way to reduce driver frustration and save taxpayer dollars.

Today, the nation's top highway official, Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters, visited the Loop202/US 60 interchange project in Mesa, AZ, to learn how planners there used a simplified detour plan to save money and precious commuter time.

Large overhead ramps that will eventually connect with US 60 were built all at once while more than 113,000 vehicles per day were moved away from the project, cutting nearly 300 days off the detour schedule and eliminating unnecessary headaches for motorists.

"This one-detour approach really is a boost to the local economy because it saves commuter time and taxpayer money," Peters said.

Besides time, projects with several detour schemes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more in "throw-away" costs, those funds spent to build temporary roads or rent detour barricades and signs.

"The fewer times we have to move traffic during a project, the more money we save and the smoother the commute during the job," Peters said.

When complete, the interchange will connect the Red Mountain and Santan freeways with US 60, essentially creating a "freeway loop" around the Southeast Valley for freeway access to the rapidly growing populations in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. Completion is scheduled for 2007.

"This project is more than new ramps and freeway connections," said Peters. "It's a way to drive economic opportunity in the East Valley and all along these major freeway corridors."

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