Tempe may sell sliver of Angels’ Diablo Stadium land for I-10 widening


The Arizona Department of Transportation plans to buy 1.85 acres of land at Tempe Diablo Stadium used for parking for the expansion of Interstate 10. (Photo: Michael Chow, Thomas Hawthorne/The Republic)

The Arizona Department of Transportation will pay Tempe nearly $3.3 million for a portion of land at Tempe Diablo Stadium needed to widen Interstate 10 and to mitigate freeway noise at the nearby Buttes Hotel.

ADOT plans to add lanes in both directions and make other improvements along 11 miles of I-10 between the Interstate 17 split near Sky Harbor Airport and Loop 202 in Chandler, known as the Broadway Curve. The improvements are expected to ease rush hour commutes on one of the busiest stretches of I-10.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is proposing to expand an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 10 to ease congestion. (Photo: Arizona Department of Transportation)

Diablo Stadium, near Alameda Drive and 48th Street, is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels. The stadium’s parking lot abuts I-10.

ADOT aims to acquire about 1.85 acres of land currently used as parking for the expansion. The agency offered Tempe about $1.2 million, or $14.60 per square feet, for the land.

The remainder of the $3.3 million will be used to replace the lost parking spaces and reduce noise at the hotel from the growing interstate.

The Tempe City Council will vote on the sale on Sept. 10.

ADOT to pay for parking, window replacements

Tempe will lose 88 parking spaces on the east end of the stadium in the sale.

The city plans to build a replacement parking lot near the existing spaces and ADOT will cover the estimated $802,000 in construction.

The expansion will bring I-10 closer to the Marriott Phoenix Resort Tempe at the Buttes. The hotel property is owned by the city and rented to Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex Corporation through an agreement in which the company pays the city an excise tax. 

ADOT will pay the city nearly $1.3 million to replace many of the windows at the hotel to reduce the expected increase in traffic noise from the expansion. About 85% of the windows facing I-10 will be replaced, according to city documents.

I-10 construction to start summer 2021

This stretch of I-10 has seen increased traffic, especially during morning and evening commutes. An average of 287,000 vehicles traveled on I-10 in the area west of Arizona 143 in 2018.

Improvements include widening both directions of I-10 to six general purpose lanes and two high-occupancy vehicles lanes between the Salt River bridge and U.S. 60. Crews will add a fourth lane in each direction from U.S. 60 to just south of Ray Road.

Plans also call for building a collector-distributor road system, similar to express lanes, between Baseline Road and 40th Street that would separate local drivers traveling shorter distances from other freeway traffic. The collector-distributor roads would look like frontage roads.

ADOT is reviewing three proposals from developers and likely will choose a contractor in October, spokesperson Tom Herrmann said.

The agency is in the process of acquiring 10 to 15 properties, including the Tempe land, for the expansion. All of the properties are commercial, and no homes are affected, Herrmann said.

Construction is expected to start in summer 2021 and be completed in fall 2024, he said.

Originally estimated to cost $700 million, transportation officials now expect construction to cost between $600 million and $610 million.

Reach reporter Paulina Pineda at [email protected] or 480-389-9637. Follow her on Twitter: @paulinapineda22.

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