Fun With Dirt

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Anyone who makes a regular trip through the Interstate 10/Interstate 19 interchange as part of their morning or evening commute has probably noticed the ever-increasing mound of smoothed-out dirt that is forming just west of where the freeways collide.

Or, maybe you're not like me, and you keep your eyes on the road.

Anyways, this pile of earth seems to grow a little bit each day, and earth-moving vehicles regularly work the dirt into a nice, flat surface.

The start of some new project?

Nope, says the Arizona Department of Transportation, which controls the land as official right-of-way for the freeway area, and is using that particular plot to hold onto what it calls "recovered material" from the ongoing road project at I-10 and Prince Road. With Prince Road getting raised above I-10—and thus I-10 being lowered to ground level—all the dirt that currently elevates the freeway has to be dug out and moved.

Thus the growing pile at I-10 and I-19, ADOT spokeswoman Linda Ritter says.

"The recovered material is being stockpiled, watered for compaction, covered with straw for dust control, seeded and bermed," Ritter wrote in an email to The Range. "Stockpiling this material for future use will save dollars for future state road projects."

How tall the mound will get before the Prince/I-10 project is completed is anyone's guess.

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