Rock removal operations on the southbound lane of the Beeline Highway between Sunflower and Fountain Hills began Monday and will continue Monday through Friday for a two-week period, creating traffic restrictions.
After intermittent traffic delays on Monday, for mobilization work, motorists traveling south will encounter delays of up to 45 minutes from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Aug. 3-5, and from 6 a.m. to noon Aug. 6, said Nick Priznar, a project manager for the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Crews will keep a similar schedule the week of Aug. 9, Priznar said, as rock removal specialists from the San Carlos Indian Nation remove loose rocks on a slope adjacent to the southbound lanes of the Beeline Highway near milepost 206.
In addition to the loose rocks, boulders will be removed Aug. 5, Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, Priznar said. The boulder removal operation will be more involved and will require closing both southbound and northbound lanes for up to 45 minutes. No blasting, however, is anticipated, he said.
Falling rocks will likely cause some pavement damage and pavement rehabilitation work will be conducted Monday, Aug. 16, Priznar said. Delays up to 45 minutes can be expected between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.
No work will be done from noon Friday to 6 a.m. Monday to avoid interfering with weekend travel to Payson and the Mogollon Rim, he said.
Priznar said the slope adjacent to the southbound lanes was created when cuts were made through mountainsides during the original construction of the Beeline Highway. The slope has worn down and loose rocks have been falling on the highway.
The work by EME West Construction, Inc., of Glendale will correct the problem, Priznar said. The firm bid $189,500 to do the work.