Thanksgiving brings reduction in highway construction closures

ADOT schedules fewer restrictions as holiday travel season starts

PHOENIX – Thanksgiving weekend brings good news for drivers on state highways, as well as a focus on safety. As the holiday travel season kicks off, the Arizona Department of Transportation will be limiting highway closures for construction and maintenance work between now and the start of 2019.

For starters, ADOT and its contractors won’t schedule new closures over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, starting Wednesday, Nov. 21. Any closures or lane restrictions for construction or maintenance work along state highways won’t resume until Monday, Nov. 26.

Drivers should focus on safe driving and use caution in any existing work zones, including Interstate 10 at the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway interchange construction project in west Phoenix or I-10 at the Ina Road bridge project in Tucson.

Because unexpected delays can occur due to crashes and stalled vehicles, motorists traveling during the holiday weekend should:

  • Pack extra drinking water and snacks
  • Avoid the busiest travel times, if possible
  • Get plenty of rest before driving
  • Check vehicles, including tire pressure, belts and fluid levels
  • If traveling to the high country, pack cold-weather clothes and blankets

Motorists play a key role in keeping traffic moving by making smart driving decisions that won’t result in serious crashes that ruin road trips and create travel delays. Please avoid speeding, aggressive driving and impaired driving, and always use a seat belt.

ADOT is emphasizing safety in three high-traffic holiday travel corridors: Interstate 17 between north Phoenix and Flagstaff; Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson; and State Route 87 between Mesa and Payson. Along those routes, ADOT crews will strategically stage equipment, such as loaders and utility trucks, to minimize travel delays with faster a response to crashes and stalled vehicles.

Last year, 17 people died in 16 fatal traffic collisions during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Arizona’s state and local roadways. Impairment was a factor in five of those crashes. To encourage smart driving decisions, ADOT will use its network of electronic signs to display safety messages, as well as information related to traffic conditions, during the holiday travel season.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.