State Route 77 to close for daytime blasting starting Dec. 12

Monday-Thursday closures improve work zone safety

Before blasting, Worker stands next to large bolderPHOENIX – To protect workers who are blasting potentially hazardous rocks along State Route 77 south of Globe, the Arizona Department of Transportation will close the road for five hours a day, Mondays through Thursdays, for the next four months.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 12, SR 77 will be closed in both directions between mileposts 154-161 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closures will be in effect Mondays through Thursdays with no closures planned between Monday, Dec. 26, and Tuesday, Jan. 3.

In addition, lane closures are expected each work day from 7-10 a.m. and from 3-5 p.m. During those times, a pilot vehicle will guide motorists through the work zone. Drivers should expect delays of about 15 minutes.

The restrictions are expected to remain in place until March.

ADOT crews have been working at night to remove potentially dangerous rock that could have fallen along SR 77 near Dripping Springs. Work is switching to the safer daylight hours after an 18-foot limestone boulder fell 150 feet during previous nighttime blasting and landed on the roadway on Nov. 30.

The incident underscored the risk for construction crews and the potential hazard to motorists. In addition to the instability of the rock face that is being removed, blasting creates flying rock that could be dangerous to workers, especially in the dark between sunset and sunrise.

During the closures, drivers can travel SR 177 and US 60 between Globe and Winkelman. That route will add about 20 miles to the trip.

As with any work zone, drivers are asked to drive slowly and cautiously in the work area and watch for construction workers and equipment.