Drivers can expect break from highway construction closures
Phoenix AZ (May 21, 2013) – It’s the holiday that marks the traditional start of the summer travel season. Here in Arizona, the Memorial Day weekend also will provide drivers with a break from construction-related closures along state highways.
The Arizona Department of Transportation reminds anyone who is planning a road trip over the holiday weekend to prepare ahead of time and to “expect the unexpected” when behind the wheel.
To ease holiday travel, ADOT will not schedule any construction closures along state highways over the extended weekend. Travelers are still asked to allow extra travel time, be prepared for existing work zones and obey reduced speed limits even when crews are not in a work area.
Getting an earlier start on a trip also is a good idea. Heavier traffic should be expected by Friday afternoon on busy travel routes such as Interstate 17 and State Route 87 north of the Phoenix area. Westbound Interstate 10 heading toward California also is likely to be carrying more holiday traffic.
Over last year’s Memorial Day weekend, eight people were killed in a total of seven fatal crashes on highways and local streets in Arizona. Five of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related, claiming the lives of six people.
ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety urge holiday travelers to follow these summertime safe-driving tips:
- Make sure to check your vehicle – including the condition of your tires. Proper tire pressure can help prevent a blowout and improves gas mileage. Check oil and other fluid levels and inspect belts and hoses for wear.
- Get plenty of rest before traveling and take regular rest breaks. Fatigue is a serious safety risk.
- Buckle up and obey speed limits.
- Never drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver in advance.
- Cell phones or GPS devices help in an emergency. Make sure they are fully charged.
- Be prepared in case your vehicle breaks down. If you need to change a flat tire, pull completely off the roadway. However, please avoid stopping in areas with taller grass or brush because hot vehicle components can spark a fire.
- Expect the unexpected, including unscheduled closures or restrictions due to crashes or other incidents.
- Pack extra drinking water and snacks. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Summer storms can produce blowing dust.
Among the highway locations with existing work zones are Interstate 10 between Prince and Ruthrauff roads in Tucson, where the highway is being reconstructed and widened, and southbound Interstate 17 near Camp Verde, where crews are working on a new climbing lane. Drivers also should anticipate heavier traffic at times when traveling along US 93, the primary travel route to and from Las Vegas.
Highway conditions are updated and can be checked on ADOT’s Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or by calling 5-1-1. The information also is available from outside Arizona by calling 1-888-411-ROAD (7623). Additional ADOT updates are available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ArizonaDOT or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AZDOT.