Two transportation projects now in the works could ease tension for motorists in some troublesome spots in Northern Gila County.
The State Transportation Board awarded 27 contracts in 12 counties around the state totaling $90.6 million in late August. Among these was a contract for $440,000 for pullout lanes along six miles of Highway 87 north of Payson.
The project includes extending existing pullouts and adding drainage culverts to the existing pullouts south of Strawberry and south of Pine.
ADOT subcontractor J. Banicki Construction, Inc. of Tempe, will start work around the second weekend of September and should be finished with the project by Dec. 1, depending on the weather.
Walt Gray, with ADOT community relations, said most of the work should not delay traffic. "They'll try to maintain two-lane traffic," he said. "When they do paving, they may have to block part of the highway."
ADOT awarded the second contract in Gila County for $272,000 to Intermountain West Civil Constructors, Inc. for work on a seven-mile construction road through mountainous terrain between Roosevelt Lake and Globe. The Payson company will also create access roads in preparation for the realignment of the highway.
ADOT officials say they will go out for bids in September on an $18.2 million project to straighten the highway between Globe and Roosevelt Lake.