ADOT training Sonora officials to add to Arizona’s 511 system

The goal: providing drivers with highway conditions south of border

PHOENIX – Arizona drivers can look forward to having some online information about highway restrictions or other traffic-related events in Sonora, Mexico.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is providing training in Phoenix this week for representatives from the Sonora Department of Civil Protection to work with Arizona’s 511 Highway Conditions and Reporting System.

The 511 system allows the public to check on state highway conditions and some local street restrictions via az511.gov or by calling 511 within the state.

“Given the importance of Arizona’s trade and economic ties with Sonora, we’re working to extend our traveler information system south of the border,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Many drivers will benefit from this service.”

When the 511 system expands with information from Sonora, travelers on both sides of the border will be able to check online for any highway events entered by officials in Mexico.

"Mexico is Arizona's No. 1 source of international visitors, and most of them travel to and from the state by car," said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "Extending the 511 system into Sonora has the potential to make those cross-border trips faster and more convenient, and that's good news for tourism, particularly in Tucson and southern Arizona."

ADOT will conduct the training on Wednesday and Thursday, March 15 and 16, for three staff members from the Sonora Department of Civil Protection, which oversees operations related to highway construction and operations in the Mexican state of Sonora.

The training will be held at ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center in Phoenix.

“This training is an initial step toward adding some road condition information from Sonora to ADOT’s 511 system,” said Steven Ramsey, ADOT’s traffic management group manager. “It won’t happen overnight. But when implemented, this will allow drivers to be more aware of road conditions along international routes and plan their travel accordingly.”

ADOT anticipates adding information about Sonoran highway conditions to the Arizona 511 system by this fall.