No state highway construction closures over Thanksgiving weekend

PHOENIX – Over Thanksgiving weekend, state and local agencies will focus on keeping motorists safe and placing equipment and resources along heavily traveled highways to help move traffic should incidents occur.

Motorists will play key roles in keeping traffic moving, too, by making smart driving decisions that won’t result in serious crashes that ruin road trips and create travel delays. 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.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and its contractors won’t schedule construction closures along state highways from Friday through late Monday evening. Road restrictions for ongoing projects will remain in place.

In an effort to reduce crashes and delays that result from speeding and driver inattention, speed limits will be lowered during peak holiday travel periods on a winding stretch of Interstate 17 north of Phoenix. ADOT will reduce speed limits by 10 mph on I-17 between New River and Sunset Point Rest Area. Temporary signs will advise drivers of the lower speed limits. For example, areas where the speed limit is ordinarily 65 mph will have a speed limit of 55 mph.

ADOT is emphasizing safety in three high-traffic holiday travel corridors: 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.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is working with state troopers, deputy sheriffs and local police officers on a holiday DUI enforcement campaign across Arizona that will patrol state highways, county roads and city streets. The holiday season DUI Task Force Campaign involves 10 separate statewide task forces and 84 different law enforcement agencies and will run through the New Year’s holiday.

Last year, 10 people died in 10 fatal traffic collisions during the holiday weekend on Arizona’s state and local roadways. Impairment was a factor in five of the fatal crashes. To encourage smart driving decisions, overhead signs will display safety messages, as well as current traffic conditions

ADOT has not scheduled any closures or work during the holiday weekend, but travelers should be aware that restrictions in existing work-zones will remain in place. This can include I-10 in Phoenix’s West Valley, I-40 near Kingman and northbound State Route 87 south of Payson. State routes 366 and 473 have closed for the winter season.

Because unexpected delays can occur due to crashes and stalled vehicles, motorists traveling during the holiday weekend should:

· 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
· If traveling to the high country, pack cold-weather clothes and blankets

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Williams ready for tree lighting and parade this weekend

Christmas-15-11-23-03WILLIAMS — Giant snowmen, toy soldiers, Nativity scenes and lights are springing up in Williams as the City moves into Mountain Village Holiday this weekend.

Events begin with the Holiday Craft Show from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. at the World Famous Sultana Theater. The Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express will run Friday the 27th through Sunday with special 3:30 matinee runs on Friday and Saturday.
Mountain Village Holiday “The Songs of Christmas” Parade of Lights will run along Historic Route 66 starting at 6:30 p.m. Hot Chocolate will be provided by Pine Country Restaurant and there will be other family fun before the parade.
The annual lighting of the Community Christmas Tree occurs right after the light parade featuring Santa and Mayor John Moore.

The annual series of Advent Concerts at St. John’s Episcopal-Lutheran church on Second and Grant (next to the tree) begins this weekend also. They will present Lessons and Carols on Sunday, November 29 at 4 p.m. The free concerts continue on Sunday, December 6, 13 and the 20th. Each concert starts at 4 p.m. and features different performers each night. A reception is held following each concert.

Snow and high winds expected tomorrow clearing Thanksgiving day

WILLIAMS — The latest Williams and Flagstaff weather forecast for the weekend shows winds picking up today with a high wind advisory and 20% chance of snow tomorrow. It is expected to clear up Thanksgiving day and be clear for the tree lighting events over the weekend.

It will remain cloudy throughout the weekend and on into Monday.

Spooky happenings in Williams

Friday 2015-10-30 012WILLIAMS — Even before the ghosts and goblins began appearing on the streets for trick-or-treat, the Grand Canyon Railway made a scary transformation.

They decorated for Christmas.Friday 2015-10-30 013
Williams has put on its Polar Express face with the standard sleigh in the park and lights along the railway. They were even playing Christmas tunes.

The Polar Express begins running this Friday, November 6 on the weekends with some special runs over the Thanksgiving period. They will have several runs through December ending with a run on January 2nd and 3rd. This is the big event for the winter, in Williams, and tickets usually go fast. Make sure that you get your reservations made now.

The Grand Canyon Railway also asks families to submit photos for their annual photo contest. See their web site for details or ask before you board the train.

Rain possible through Columbus day(?)

300-columbus-dayWILLIAMS — I see by the old calendar on the wall that it looks like we could have rain over Columbus day next week.

The long-range forecast shows a chance of rain moving in Wednesday night through Sunday. There will be a slight chance of rain for most of the later week except for the 30% chance Thursday. Flagstaff has a 40% chance on Thursday night.

The current long-range forecast runs through Sunday, so it is is unclear if rain will be a problem over Columbus Day next week, according to my calendar.

I must remember to wish the Canadians a Happy Thanksgiving next week.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Geo. Washington Thanksgiving proclamation

washingtonThanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

No state highway closures over Thanksgiving weekend

In an effort to help holiday travelers and promote safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation says no construction closures are scheduled along Phoenix-area freeways or state highways over the Thanksgiving weekend. No closures will be scheduled between Wednesday afternoon and early Monday morning, Dec. 1.

Drivers who have plans to travel over the weekend are urged to focus on safety. ADOT and its contractors will hold off on work requiring closures as the busy holiday travel season gets underway. Motorists should focus on staying alert and obeying speed limits, especially in areas where existing work zones are in place.

Last year, 13 people were killed in a total of 10 fatal crashes along Arizona highways and local roads over the Thanksgiving weekend. Three of those fatal crashes were alcohol-related. ADOT, the Department of Public Safety and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety ask motorists to follow these safe-driving tips:

  • Get a good night’s rest before heading out on a trip.
  • Check your vehicle, including tire pressure, fluid levels and the condition of engine belts.
  • Buckle up and double-check child safety seats.
  • Never drive while impaired. Arrange for a designated driver ahead of time.
  • Obey speed limits, be patient and avoid distractions. Don’t text while driving.
  • Be prepared for unscheduled closures due to accidents. Have an emergency preparedness kit that includes extra clothes, blankets, flashlights, snack foods and drinking water.

ADOT also teams up with DPS and the Black Canyon City and Daisy Mountain fire departments to focus on emergency response efforts along Interstate 17 north of Phoenix, especially when heavier traffic is expected on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. ADOT will position vehicles and equipment in the Anthem and Cordes Junction areas to allow crews to quickly respond to crashes or disabled vehicles and reopen the highway in the event of closures or lane restrictions.

For the latest highway conditions across Arizona, travelers can visit ADOT’s Travel Information site at or call 511 (outside Arizona call 1-888-411-ROAD). ADOT’s public information line for state highway conditions is 602-712-6513. You can also track closures and other highway conditions at

Additional information about winter driving and items to include in an emergency preparedness kit can be found at