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ADOT picks a developer for the $446 million I-17 widening project

Holiday traffic on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix often becomes an exercise in patience and frustration. Now help and additional lanes are on the way for one of the busiest freeways in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has selected a developer to improve that stretch of highway, but relief is still down the road.

Northbound traffic on I-17 between Anthem and Sunset Point at the start of a three-day weekend is stop and go, and often more stop than go. Heading back at the end of the holiday is much the same.

ADOT has announced an agreement with Kiewit-Fann Joint Venture to design, build, operate and maintain the Interstate 17 Improvement Project.

The cost for the 23-mile stretch will be about $446 million. That will include 15 miles of road widening, bridge replacements and an eight-mile flex lane system. The flex lanes will be able to carry heavy northbound traffic on a Friday or heavy southbound traffic on a Sunday.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and is expected to take three years.

KJZZ’s News Director Al Macias is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.Macias helps oversee daily operations for the KJZZ newsroom and Fronteras: the Changing America Desk. This is second nature for Macias, who is a National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Society member and an inductee of the Society of Professional Journalists Order of the Silver Key Society.Macias began serving the KJZZ news team in October 2010, helping the station launch Fronteras: The Changing America Desk as the project's managing editor. He became the news director in January 2015. Macias, who has an extensive television background, is helping Fronteras Desk reporters disseminate reports using a multimedia platform that includes radio, web, video and social media tools to engage listeners across the globe.He also is no stranger to building a news team from the ground up. Macias was part of the management team that launched the KNXV newsroom in 1994 and oversaw its growth from a staff of twenty to more than sixty in less than a year. Additionally, he served in managerial roles at KPNX from 1981-1994 and as an assignment editor and manager for KTVK.During his television career, Macias won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for spot news coverage and public service programming.Macias takes great pride in his public service work, as well. He is a founding board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and is part of the Raul H. Castro Institute Advisory Committee. In addition, he served Maricopa County’s communications department and spent time as a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau.A Phoenix native, Macias earned a journalism degree from Arizona State University. He has been married since 1978 and has two adult daughters.