Possible Delays On Highway 87 Near Rye Thursday

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Payson area motorists may encounter delays of up to fifteen minutes Thursday on State Route 87 south of town. These delays are only expected in the southbound lanes.

The construction delays are part of the project to widen shoulders in the Oxbow section”along SR 87. The construction that could cause delays will occur during daylight hours only on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) received federal funding to widen shoulders and repave the southbound lanes on 2.5 miles of SR 87 north of Rye.

The $6 million Oxbow Project was awarded to Bison Contracting of Phoenix which has informed ADOT that the company has hired dozens of Payson area residents to work on the project.

Construction crews have removed brush from the right of way. The next step will be removing more than 100,000 cubic yards of earth necessary to widen the shoulders.

In later phases new drainage pipes, concrete culverts, pavement markings and guard rail will be installed.

The waste material will be taken to a large pit northeast of the project zone, owned by the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service is appreciative of the plan to fill in the pit, which has been an eyesore and a dump site for such things as refrigerators. The Forest Service is also working with ADOT on this project to ensure erosion control and pollution prevention.

During construction, crews may close one lane in both directions Monday through Thursday during daylight hours. Traffic control and flaggers will help motorists through the work zone which will be posted at 45 mph. The safety improvements will be made on the southbound lanes only but the temporary northbound lane closure will be required for delivery of earth to the waste pit.

The project is scheduled for completion in late summer 2009.

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