Project to promote driver safety along I-19 to require lane closures

Crews are removing trees near roadway to create motorist recovery zones

NOGALES – A project creating recovery zones for motorists using Interstate 19 will require daily lane closures while Arizona Department of Transportation crews remove trees and woody vegetation within 30 feet of travel lanes.

The project, designed to give drivers whose vehicles leave the roadway a better opportunity to stop safely, has begun near Nogales and is expected to reach Tucson by the end of March.

Crews will work from sunrise to sunset Mondays through Saturdays to remove trees and larger vegetation to create buffer zone extending 30 feet from the solid white or yellow stripe of the travel lane.

The freeway will be narrowed to one lane in project segments between three and five miles long to separate traffic from large machinery being used to cut and mulch trees, and to prevent wood chips from striking passing vehicles. Drivers should expect delays in work zone areas.

I-19 is the first route in Arizona where ADOT will create recovery zones after completing a study to determine where the most crashes involving trees have occurred.

Future locations for removing roadside trees will be selected based on the study’s results.