ADOT — Drivers should expect heavy traffic on highways to and from popular destinations during peak travel times over Labor Day weekend, but no construction-related closures are scheduled.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will provide motorists with a break from construction-related highway closures between Friday afternoon and late Monday night this weekend. ADOT also will work with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and local first responders in clearing crashes, disabled vehicles or other incidents that can cause travel delays.
As with other recent holiday weekends, safety measures will include lowering speed limits by 10 mph along Interstate 17 between New River Road and the Sunset Point Rest Area north of Phoenix during peak travel periods. Temporary signs will display reduced speed limits, primarily along northbound I-17 on Friday, Aug. 31, and along southbound I-17 on Monday, Sept. 3.
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Drivers hold the key to highway safety at all times, including holiday weekends. ADOT and other public safety agencies ask motorists to focus on safe driving behavior, including using seat belts, obeying speed limits and not allowing impaired people to get behind the wheel.
Last year, nine people were killed in nine fatal crashes on Arizona roadways, including local streets, over Labor Day weekend. Three of those fatal crashes involved alcohol.
ADOT will position personnel and equipment at locations closer to heavily traveled highways during peak times this weekend, including I-17 and State Route 87 north of the Phoenix area and I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. Those crews will be prepared to assist AZDPS troopers and local emergency responders in clearing travel lanes if crashes or other incidents occur.
While ADOT and its contractors will not schedule any weekend closures along state highways during the Labor Day period, motorists should be prepared to slow down and merge safely in existing improvement project work zones.
Drivers also should allow extra travel time for any ramp closures that already are in place. For example, the northbound I-17 ramp to westbound I-40 in Flagstaff is closed until late this year for a bridge-improvement project.
Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site ataz511.gov or by calling 511. Updates also are provided through ADOT’s Twitter feed,@ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, ADOT’s free app – available at ADOTAlerts.com – will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas where possible, in advance of alternate routes.