ADOT takes proactive stance against potential flooding on SR 87, 188

Bush Fire burn scar leaves highways more susceptible to flooding

PHOENIX – While the Arizona Department of Transportation has an ongoing project to replace the guardrail and right-of-way fence along state routes 87 and 188 after they were damaged in the Bush Fire, the landscape surrounding those highways cannot be so quickly fixed, making the whole area susceptible to flooding during summer monsoon storms.

That’s why ADOT has developed an emergency action plan to respond quickly in case of flooding.

ADOT’s plan was developed in coordination with the National Weather Service and engineers from ADOT’s Central, Northcentral and Southeast districts. The National Weather Service will advise ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center of potential storms near the burned area left by the Bush Fire that could result in flooding. ADOT personnel will then respond by pre-staging equipment along SR 87 and SR 188 in case the highways need to close due to flooding.

“The purpose of the emergency action plan is to ensure that the Traffic Operations Center and all three ADOT districts involved have the same information,” said Kevin Duby, ADOT’s Road Weather Manager. “Streamlined communication and preventative measures will allow our maintenance crews to take quick action to close the highways and keep drivers safe in the event of flooding.” 

Heavy equipment can include vehicles such as loaders, skid-steers and backhoes as well as other equipment like barriers and portable message boards.

The emergency action plan also helps ADOT fulfill initiatives in the Pathfinder Program with the Federal Highway Administration. Pathfinder, which was born out of FHWA’s Every Day Counts innovation recognition program, is designed to keep travelers informed and improve safety, mobility and the movement of goods during storms that impact highways, through enhanced collaboration between FHWA, the National Weather Service, state DOTs and other stakeholders.

For more information on the Pathfinder Program, visit highways.dot.gov and search Pathfinder.