From the Archives: Work Zone Safety in the 60s, 70s and 80s

two flagstaff-area work zones

Here are two Flagstaff-area work zones. The photo at left was taken in 1979 and the photo at right was snapped in 1968.

For as long as there have been roads, there have been work zones. While those early projects might have looked a little different from what we see today, motorists have been navigating near construction crews and work sites for a very long time.

Work on I-17 in 1980

Taken in June 1980, this photo shows work happening on I-17 near Camp Verde.

We don’t have photos showing construction of the state’s earliest highways, but we do have some work zone shots from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Seeing that it is National Work Zone Awareness Week, we thought now would be a good time to share.

As you can see, Arizona’s highway system has grown in the past few decades – Interstate 17 certainly looks very different now!

We know that the drivers in the photographs didn’t have the ADOT website to turn to for construction updates. They didn’t have az511.gov or social media either (can you even imagine?). We hope that they knew to slow down, pay attention and expect the unexpected in the work zone – it was important back then and it’s important now.

Work on I-40 in 1979

Construction on I-40 in Holbrook from back in August 1979.

Luckily, today’s drivers have all those resources. Motorists of 2015 can also visit ADOT’s Work-Zone safety page for tips on how to maneuver safely through a work zone.

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It’s safe to say things have changed since 1912 when the Arizona Highway Department was first established. But you don’t just have to take our word … we’ve got plenty of pictures to prove it. We combed through our archives and decided to periodically post these photos from the past in a blog series we’re calling, “From the ADOT Archives.”