There’s good news for drivers who are planning road trips over the extended Thanksgiving weekend. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says no full construction or maintenance closures are scheduled on state highways over the extended holiday weekend, Nov. 23-28.
However, ADOT advises drivers to be prepared and “expect the unexpected” while focusing on safe driving.
As the annual holiday travel season starts across Arizona, ADOT and its contractors will not schedule highway work that requires full closures on state highways from Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 23, to Monday morning, Nov. 28.
Due to anticipated heavier traffic conditions during peak travel times, including Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, drivers should allow extra time if possible and be prepared for unscheduled closures or lane restrictions due to crashes, disabled vehicles or other incidents.
Interstate 17 and State Route 87 north of the Phoenix area as well as Interstate 10 in areas between Tucson and California are among highways expected to be busy with holiday travelers.
Packing an emergency kit can come in handy in case you encounter an unscheduled stop in traffic or need to pull over because of car troubles. Items to pack include:
Extra bottled water
A flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Drivers and passengers also should remember prescription medications and items such as a cellphone charger in case of unexpected travel delays. Staying up to date on potential changing weather conditions also is important. ADOT provides additional information on its Road Trip Safety site.
Motorists also could encounter some existing work zone restrictions across the state. Those areas include: State Route 89A narrowed to one lane with alternating two-way traffic (temporary traffic signals) at the “Switchbacks” in Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona (rockfall/erosion mitigation project); northbound US 93 at the Kabba Wash Bridge (narrowed to one lane) at milepost 97 south of I-40 (construction project) and Interstate 15 near Beaver Dam/Littlefield (narrowed to one lane in each direction) at mileposts 8-9 for an ongoing bridge replacement project. Extra travel time is recommended in these areas during peak travel times.
Getting adequate rest, buckling up, obeying speed limits and never driving while impaired are behaviors that promote improved highway safety. Eighteen people were killed last year in a total of 15 fatal crashes on all Arizona roads, including local streets, over the Thanksgiving weekend. Five of those fatalities occurred in crashes listed as alcohol-related.
Drivers also should check their vehicle before traveling, including tire pressure, engine belts and hoses, fluid levels and the condition of windshield wipers.
Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511.