Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ADOT: No state highway construction closures over Christmas and New Year’s weekends

Drivers urged to use caution, be prepared for existing work zones

PHOENIX – Drivers will not face any construction-related closures along state highways and Phoenix area freeways over the Christmas and New Year’s weekends, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Although no major restrictions are scheduled, ADOT is advising drivers to be prepared for existing work zones for some ongoing projects and possible increased traffic before and at the end of each holiday weekend over the next two weeks.

There is good news about an Interstate 17 work zone 20 miles south of Flagstaff. Crews will reopen I-17 to two lanes in each direction at the Munds Park interchange project by this weekend. The bridge reconstruction project has reached the halfway mark and will continue when warmer weather arrives in the spring.

Existing work zone locations along state highways include:

I-10 in the Casa Grande area: No lane restrictions but work zones with temporary safety barrier walls are in place east of McCartney Road. Drivers are asked to obey reduced speed limit within work zone.

I-10 near Cotton Lane west of Phoenix: No lane restrictions. However, crews have done preliminary set up of a work zone for one of ADOT’s major 2012 projects – construction of a new elevated freeway-to-freeway interchange linking Loop 303 and I-10.

US 93 north of Wikieup: Drivers are asked to use extra caution along the work zone for a seven-mile-long project to build a divided four-lane highway. A no passing zone is in effect.

State Route 85 in Gila Bend: Narrowed to one lane in each direction at a Business-8 bridge improvement project. Minimal delays expected during busier travel periods over the holidays.

I-10 in northwest Tucson: No lane restrictions but work zones and exit closures are in place in areas between Ruthrauff and Prince roads.

ADOT also urges drivers to “expect the unexpected” and prepare for unscheduled incidents or restrictions along state highways.

A total of 15 people were killed in crashes on highways and local streets over the Christmas and New Year’s weekends a year ago (10 fatalities over Christmas weekend and five fatalities over the New Year’s weekend). Key safety tips include buckling up, obeying speed limits, checking your vehicle – including fluid levels, belts and tire pressure – and getting plenty of rest before setting out on a trip. Never drink and drive and if necessary make advance plans for a designated driver.

Drivers are reminded that weather conditions can change while traveling. Winter weather driving tips for Arizona’s high country or other parts of the nation, and other information are available at