Delays on State Route 87 north of Sunflower expected

Safety improvement project will require daytime and nighttime restrictions next two months

PHOENIX — Motorists who regularly travel between Phoenix and Payson on State Route 87 are urged to plan ahead or allow extra travel time as the Arizona Department of Transportation continues to make progress on an improvement project, approximately 10 miles north of Sunflower.

For the next two months, drivers need to be aware of daytime and nighttime restrictions between mileposts 221 and 228, approximately seven miles south of the State Route 188 junction. 

Northbound traffic headed to Payson on SR 87 will be narrowed to one lane and a 10-foot width restriction will be in effect until project completion in mid-May 2015. 

In addition, northbound SR 87 will be closed through the work zone between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday night through Friday mornings for the next two months for slope excavation work. Northbound drivers will be shifted to southbound SR 87, which will become a two-way roadway with one lane in each direction.

Drivers will be guided through the work zone with the aid of a pilot car with delays of up to 30 minutes. 

The $6.2 million safety improvement project, which began last month, includes the reconstruction of an existing curve at milepost 227, as well as building a new northbound truck escape ramp at milepost 228. Runaway truck ramps offer an opportunity for out-of-control trucks, which may have inoperable brakes, to safely exit the highway and come to a controlled stop.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.