While no construction closures are scheduled along state highways, including Phoenix area freeways, over the Independence Day weekend, the Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan ahead and be prepared when traveling.
Unscheduled restrictions due to crashes, Monsoon weather or other incidents can affect travel plans. Motorists are also urged to concentrate on safe driving habits. Sixteen people were killed in crashes on local roads and highways in Arizona during last year's Fourth of July weekend. Seven of those victims were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
Even with construction work suspended over the holiday weekend, some existing highway work zones require lane restrictions. For example, Interstate 17 is narrowed to one lane in each direction 20 miles south of Flagstaff for ongoing projects near Munds Park. Drivers should allow extra travel time and be prepared to merge in advance of any work zones, especially during the busiest travel periods over the weekend. Most traffic has been moving through that work zone without delays.
Meanwhile, drivers using Interstate 10 between Arizona and California will find that the highway has been reopened to all four lanes at the Hassayampa River bridges 40 miles west of downtown Phoenix.
ADOT has joined with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and Arizona Department of Public Safety in urging motorists to be prepared in the event of any unscheduled highway restrictions over the holiday weekend. Drivers are asked to follow these safety tips before and during any road trips this summer:
• Buckle up
• Be patient and don't speed
• Merge ahead of an existing work zone with lane restrictions. Don't wait until the last second.
• Never drink and drive
• Check your vehicle, including tire pressure
• Get some rest before your trip
While there are no construction highway closures this weekend, ADOT reminds motorists that approximately 130 miles of state highways remain closed due to several major wildfires burning across Arizona or due to the threat of wildfires:
• US 191 is closed over a 77-mile stretch between Alpine and north of Clifton (mileposts 176-253).
• State Routes 261 and 273, the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake are closed. SR 261 is closed between the SR 260 junction and SR 273 junction (mileposts 395-413) and SR 273 is closed south of the Sunrise Ski area to the SR 261 junction (mileposts 383-394).
• In southern Arizona, SR 366 is closed leading up to Mount Graham (mileposts 118-143) near Safford after the U.S. Forest Service determined the risk of wildfire is too extreme to allow access.
Updated highway conditions are available at ADOT's Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or by calling 5-1-1 from within Arizona.
Today (June 30) also marks the final day for Arizona residents to participate in a quick survey on the redesign of the ADOT website. What improvements would you like to see? ADOT is in the process of a complete website redesign and needs your input. Please take about 15 minutes to complete this online survey and let us know how ADOT can better meet your information and communication needs: http://surveyentrance.com/run/pib/p1772/e.