Beginning Jan. 20, 2020 the intersection of Ash Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway will be closed to all traffic, including vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, for construction. The intersection will reopen on Feb. 27, 2020 with the new configuration, which was designed to create access in all directions, improve connectivity and facilitate traffic flow. It will include a landscaped gateway island along with bike treatments and pedestrian crossings. It will operate without a traffic signal, except for a streetcar-specific signal to allow the vehicle to move through the intersection from the Tempe Beach Park stop.
Background: In 2017, design concepts were developed to realign the intersection of First Street/Ash Avenue/Rio Salado Parkway. The project allows for westbound travel on Rio Salado Parkway through Ash Avenue to First Street. Several design alternatives were presented to the public for feedback in spring 2017, including a public meeting held April 17, 2017. In May 2017, the Tempe City Council selected a roundabout design for the intersection.
At the Sept. 7, 2018 Tempe City Council meeting, staff provided an update on the project, including the refined roundabout design, right-of-way impacts and estimated costs. The project is being coordinated with the Tempe Streetcar project construction to limit construction disruption.
The roundabout will provide another east/west travel option in and out of downtown Tempe, which would help with some of the traffic on the streets that connect to downtown.