No highway construction closures during Memorial Day weekend

PHOENIX – During the Memorial Day weekend, state and local agencies are focusing on keeping motorists safe and placing equipment and resources along heavily traveled highways to help move traffic should incidents occur.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and its contractors won’t schedule construction closures along state highways from Friday through late Monday evening. Drivers are urged to use caution over the holiday weekend in existing work zones and in three “holiday travel corridors” that will receive extra enforcement and resources to minimize travel delays.

As they have during recent major holiday weekends, ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety are emphasizing safety in three high-traffic zones: Interstate 17 between north Phoenix and Flagstaff, Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson and State Route 87 between Mesa and Payson. Along those routes, ADOT crews will strategically stage equipment, such as loaders and utility trucks, minimizing travel delays with faster response times to crashes and stalled vehicles. Overhead signs will update travelers on traffic conditions and safety reminders.

DPS will focus on preventing three leading causes of traffic deaths: speeding, impaired driving and lack of seat-belt use. Many of ADOT’s overhead signs throughout the state will display a message aimed at discouraging speeding. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is working with state troopers, police officers and deputy sheriffs on a holiday DUI enforcement campaign. Last year in Arizona, seven people died in seven fatal traffic collisions during the holiday weekend. Two of the crashes were alcohol-related.

No closures are scheduled during the holiday weekend, but travelers should be aware that existing work-zone restrictions with lane reductions will remain in place. This includes a 30-mile stretch of I-40 east of Kingman, I-40 near Twin Arrows and I-10 near Bowie.

Because unexpected delays can occur due to crashes and stalled vehicles, drivers are encouraged to:

Pack extra drinking water and snacks.
Avoid the busiest travel times, if possible.
Get plenty of rest before driving.
Check vehicles, including tire pressure, belts and fluid levels.

Sunset Point rest area will be open, but without services, May 24

Restroom and vending services at the Sunset Point rest area on Interstate 17 will be closed on Wednesday, May 24, so Arizona Department of Transportation crews can make needed electrical upgrades.

The rest area, located about 50 miles north of Phoenix, will remain open for drivers who want to stretch their legs, check mobile devices or exercise their pets, but there will be no vending or restroom services from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Work is scheduled to continue on Thursday, May 25, but services are expected to be available. Drivers should watch for ADOT personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Overnight lane restrictions planned on Interstate 17 for guardrail repairs

Drivers who use Interstate 17 between Maricopa and Yavapai counties should plan for overnight and early morning lane restrictions through early Wednesday. Arizona Department of Transportation crews are scheduled to make guardrail repairs along I-17 near New River, Bumblebee and Crown King roads and State Route 169.

Slow down, watch for workers and equipment and be prepared to merge carefully into the open travel lane while the following restrictions are in place:

Northbound I-17 will be narrowed to one lane in New River from milepost 233 to milepost 234 from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday, May 22.

Northbound I-17 will be narrowed to one lane between mileposts 244 and 247 (near Bumblebee Road) from 11 p.m. Monday, May 22, to 2 a.m. Tuesday, May 23.

Southbound I-17 will be narrowed to one lane between mileposts 251 and 248 (near Crown King Road) from 2 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 23.

Southbound I-17 will be narrowed to one lane between milepost 278 and 276 (south of State Route 169) from 5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, May 23.

Allow extra travel time on State Route 260 east of Cottonwood next week

Motorists traveling on State Route 260 should allow extra time while surface sealant is applied on two miles of the highway east of Cottonwood. Work will occur between mileposts 209 and 211 on Monday, May 22, and Tuesday, May 23, during daylight hours.

The roadway will be reduced to one lane with a pilot car guiding alternating traffic through the work zone. Drivers should plan for delays of up to 15 minutes; observe reduced speed limits; and watch for construction personnel and equipment in the work zone.

Lane closure on Interstate 17 south of Flagstaff on Monday

FLAGSTAFF – Interstate 17 south of Flagstaff will be narrowed to one lane from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 22, for paving. Work is scheduled to occur between mileposts 340 and 338.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Add time for travel to Page on US 89 Wednesday and Thursday

PAGE – Motorists traveling on US 89 to Page should allow extra time while surface sealant is applied on a nine-mile segment of the roadway just south of Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Work will occur between mileposts 537 and 546 during daylight hours Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18.

The roadway will be reduced to one lane with a pilot car guiding alternating traffic through the work zone. Drivers should observe reduced speed limits and watch for construction personnel and equipment in the work zone.

ADOT seeks input on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goals

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation is seeking public input on proposed goals for the percentage value of federal-aid contract dollars won by firms certified for its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

In an update required every three years, ADOT is proposing that 9.55 percent of total dollars in contracts funded by the Federal Highway Administration go to DBE firms during fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020. The agency anticipates that 5 percent will be achieved through small-business programs and other efforts that are neutral when it comes to race and gender, and that 4.55 percent will be achieved through contract goals.

ADOT’s current DBE goal for Federal Highway Administration-funded contracts is 8.9 percent, and the agency has exceeded that goal during the past two fiscal years.

The proposed goal, which will be submitted this summer to the Federal Highway Administration and go into effect Oct. 1, stems from a recently completed draft DBE Availability Study that also sets goals for DBE participation in Federal Aviation Administration contracts from fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2021 and Federal Transit Administration contracts from fiscal 2020 through fiscal 2022.

For Federal Aviation Administration-funded contracts, ADOT has proposed an overall DBE goal of 8.05 percent, to be achieved through efforts that are neutral when it comes to race and gender. For Federal Transit Administration-funded contracts, ADOT’s preliminary DBE goal of 2.79 percent, to be achieved through efforts that are neutral when it comes to race and gender, will be re-examined prior to submission to that agency in 2019.

ADOT offers several ways for business representatives and other interested stakeholders to provide input on these proposed goals and the draft DBE Availability Study, and to offer suggestions for improving contracting opportunities for DBEs and other small businesses.

ADOT has scheduled the following public hearings:

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, Tucson
4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, June 15, at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, Phoenix

At any time during the public comment period, which begins Monday, May 15, and lasts through Thursday, June 22, the public also can provide comments through:

  • Online: ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, azdot.gov/BECO
  • Email: info@keenindependent.com
  • Mail: ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St. , Suite 101, Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • Fax: 602-712-8429

During the public comment period, all documents related to the proposed goals and the draft DBE Availability Study are available for review during regular business hours at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Phoenix.

All public comments will be reviewed before ADOT submits final DBE goal requests to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Transit Administration.

Phoenix to host final public hearing for ADOT’s Tentative Five-Year Program

Now is the time to comment on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s recommended plan for the next five years of construction projects.

ADOT is getting ready to hold its third and final public hearing this week on the 2018-2022 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program. Comments can be submitted online as well through May 30.

This comment period helps ADOT and the State Transportation Board, which reviews and approves the program, learn which highway projects are most important to members of the public and communities statewide.

The third public hearing for the Tentative Five-Year Program is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, May 19, in the ADOT Auditorium, 206 S. 17th Ave. in Phoenix. The monthly State Transportation Board meeting will follow the public hearing.

The Tentative Five-Year Program outlines proposed projects and improvements to the state highway system over the next five years. The program is updated annually and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for projects for highways, bridges, transit and aviation.

Many of the major projects in this Tentative Program focus on improving some of Arizona’s busiest corridors. Better mobility means better daily commutes and travel for everyone. Improved roads also enhance freight movement, trade, commerce and economic development, all of which benefit the quality of life statewide.

ADOT is also committed to protecting Arizona’s nearly $21 billion investment in the state highway system through dedicated preservation funding. This Five-Year Program meets ADOT’s target of $260 million per year for preservation. Projects like repaving highways, repairing or reconstructing bridges and projects to extend the life of existing pavement all help to preserve the highway system and keep it functioning as it should.

The complete report of all proposed projects is available at azdot.gov for review and comment until 5 p.m. on May 30.

The public comment period for the 2018-2022 Tentative Program began on March 17. It includes public hearings in Tucson (March 17), Flagstaff (April 21) and Phoenix (May 19). The State Transportation Board is expected to make its final decision on June 16 at its meeting in Payson about what will be in the updated Five-Year Program.

The Tentative Program is available for public review and comment at azdot.gov/FiveYearPlan, where a “how to read it” guide is available. ADOT welcomes feedback through Survey Monkey at surveymonkey.com/r/M36583J, by email at fiveyearconstructionprogram@azdot.gov and by calling 855.712.8530.

Visit the Tentative Five-Year Program website at azdot.gov/fiveyearplan for more information.

Closures on Interstate 17 north of Camp Verde continue Tuesday for emergency utility repairs

Windy conditions on Monday prevented crews from completing the emergency utility repairs on Interstate 17. Work and temporary closures are scheduled to continue Tuesday, May 16, approximately four miles north of the State Route 260 junction.

North and southbound traffic on I-17 will be stopped at milepost 291 while utility crews work to repair power lines and poles. Closures are scheduled to occur between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., with each closure expected to last approximately 15 minutes.

ADOT’s use of rubberized asphalt gives new life to recycled tires

PHOENIX – The rubberized asphalt used by the Arizona Department of Transportation on many highway paving projects not only creates a smooth ride for drivers, it also provides a second life for the rubber from thousands of old, worn tires that might otherwise be dumped in landfills.

Such is the case with the ongoing project to put a fresh layer of rubberized asphalt on a busy stretch of Interstate 17 in Phoenix. Rubber from about 75,000 tires will be used in the layer of asphalt being added to 11 miles of I-17 between Dunlap and 19th avenues in Phoenix.

For the I-17 project, the process for recycling tires begins at the Crumb Rubber Manufacturers plant in east Mesa, where a complex series of conveyor belts, blades and other equipment removes the internal metal belts from the tires while turning the rubber into granules that look like ground coffee.

The crumb rubber is a key ingredient that is blended with hot asphalt and aggregate to become rubberized asphalt. For the I-17 project, the mixing occurs at a Vulcan Materials Co. plant in Phoenix. The heated rubberized asphalt is then delivered in trucks when weekend paving on the freeway is underway.

ADOT has used rubberized asphalt on many stretches of the state’s highways, including metro Phoenix freeways, for decades. As a result, rubber from millions of tires has been used to help provide a smooth, durable ride for drivers across Arizona.

“What we like most about rubberized asphalt is its durability,” said Dallas Hammit, ADOT’s state engineer and deputy director for transportation. “When our riding surface pavement lasts longer – in some areas for well over a decade – it is cost effective and limits traffic disruptions.”

Rubberized asphalt has also been recognized for reducing traffic noise, specifically the sound from vehicle tires, by approximately four decibels in neighborhoods near urban freeways.

The weekend paving of sections of I-17 is scheduled to be completed in June. This weekend, northbound I-17 will be closed between Glendale and Dunlap avenues from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, May 15, for the resurfacing work. Drivers should consider alternate routes, including northbound State Route 51, to avoid heavy traffic approaching the I-17 closure.

For more information about ADOT’s $9.8 million I-17 Improvement Project between Dunlap and 19th avenues, visit azdot.gov/I17PavementPreservation.