New Year

New year? Resolve to drive safer!

New year? Resolve to drive safer!


New year? Resolve to drive safer!

New year? Resolve to drive safer!

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
January 17, 2022

So here we are, in early 2022, and you may have already blown off your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get more sleep and be more patient with your in-laws.

OK, you tried. A little. It’s not like it’s life or death or anything.

But ADOT wants to suggest a few resolutions that actually could save your life. With a little help from some of our past traffic safety messages, we urge you to adopt the following resolutions:  

Drive slower, live longer. Slow down. Did you know that speeding is the most common driver violation related to crashes and, historically, is a factor in about a third of all traffic fatalities each year? The faster you go, the less control you have over your vehicle and the less time you have to react to the other guy’s driving error. If not for yourself, then slow down for your loved ones.

Buckle up, buttercup. Wear seatbelts. This simple habit, so easy to acquire with just a little practice, is a proven life safer, often meaning the difference between life and death in a crash. So make it a practice to get in your car, put on your seatbelt, adjust your sunglasses and then start your car.

Designated drivers make the best dates. Don't drive drunk. Impaired driving is a leading factor in crash fatalities. If you know you're going to drink alcohol, designate a driver or make alternative plans to get home safely.

Phone down, eyes up. Don’t text and drive.  It’s against the law to text while driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re making up with a loved one or getting a job offer. None of it matters if you’re not around. 

Move Over when you see flashing lights. If you can do so safely, shift over one lane when you see responders assisting a vehicle on the shoulder of a highway. It's not only the law, but this gives them a safe place to work.  

Don’t dally after a minor crash. It’s the law. If you are in a fender bender with no injuries, the most crucial thing to remember is simple: Get out of the travel lanes. Once your car is safely out of harm's way you can wait for a tow truck or law enforcement to arrive.

Download the free ADOT Alerts and AZ511 apps. To get alerts about unexpected events on your route, and to check traffic conditions before you head out, you’ll want to download these apps here. They will save you time and headaches.


Yes, it was 2020 but progress still made along Phoenix-area freeways

Yes, it was 2020 but progress still made along Phoenix-area freeways


Yes, it was 2020 but progress still made along Phoenix-area freeways

Yes, it was 2020 but progress still made along Phoenix-area freeways

By Doug Nintzel / ADOT Communications
December 31, 2020

You’re not alone if you’ve said, “I can’t wait for this year to be over.” Despite the challenges and disappointments of 2020, there are improvements along Phoenix-area freeways that were accomplished during the year by ADOT’s planners, designers, engineers, contractors and field personnel.

Among the largest steps forward with work to improve highway safety and the movement of today’s and future traffic was completion of the $72 million widening of Loop 101 (Price Freeway) in the area from Baseline Road, south of US 60, down to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Chandler. Crews completed the addition of a new lane in each direction, along with other improvements, in August. 

This particular project was moved up in regional transportation plans in order for the added traffic capacity to be in place before the upcoming I-10 Broadway Curve widening project stretching from the Loop 202 interchange in Chandler to the I-17 “Split” near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. That’s because Loop 101 will serve as an important alternate route when I-10 construction closures are needed.

ADOT also completed the reconstruction of the neighboring I-17 interchanges at Happy Valley and Pinnacle Peak roads in north Phoenix. You may not live in that area and haven’t had a reason to check out the significant upgrades at both interchanges, which are just a mile apart along the Black Canyon Freeway. The $50 million project was completed in early December, although many of the improvements were in place earlier in the fall. The most notable change was construction of the state’s first major diverging diamond interchange at Happy Valley Road (smaller diverging diamonds also are in place along Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway). 

The diverging diamond design, which has grown in popularity across the U.S. for safety and traffic flow benefits, uses intersections and traffic signals to allow drivers to cross to the left side of the bridge over I-17 and thus make direct left turns to the freeway on-ramps without crossing in front of opposing traffic. The reduction in such “conflict points” is a primary safety improvement. 

Not to be overlooked is the expansion of the interchange at Pinnacle Peak Road, where drivers now have more lanes to cross over I-17 or make left turns. That’s already helping with the movement of rush hour traffic. Oh, and I-17 was also widened by a lane in each direction between the two improved interchanges.

Another project in our 2020 spotlight didn’t involve widening a freeway, although we wouldn’t blame some drivers if they thought that took place. It was actually an I-10 project completed in the spring that primarily focused on adjusting lane stripes and signs to create more traffic capacity in the area near the Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) interchange in the West Valley. Along eastbound I-10, the changes provided two lanes, instead of just one, for traffic approaching the ramp to northbound Loop 101. The move reduced sudden lane changes and collisions in the area by increasing the amount of room for drivers to work with. Traffic flow also was improved along westbound I-10 with the extension of a right lane carrying vehicles through the Loop 101 interchange. The safety project was done in partnership with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Maricopa Association of Governments, the Valley’s regional planning agency.

So it’s on to 2021 and other improvement projects, including completion of the Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) widening between I-17 and Pima Road/Princess Drive in the north Valley. We’ll keep you posted on what’s in store. Make it a safe New Year!

More ADOT highlights from 2012

More ADOT highlights from 2012


More ADOT highlights from 2012

More ADOT highlights from 2012

January 4, 2013

ADOT achievements don't just happen on the road.

We’ve spent this week looking back on ADOT’s major projects of 2012, but it’s important to recall the transportation-related achievements that didn’t happen out on the road.

Much was accomplished last year through planning, which is what we’re focusing on today.

This summer ADOT, in partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation, launched a two-year study of I-11 and the Intermountain West Corridor. The study will determine if it is feasible to build a new interstate that would connect Phoenix and Las Vegas and potentially extend north to Canada and south to Mexico. I-11 received federal designation under the current surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, also known as MAP-21. As part of this federal designation, US 93 is defined as a high-priority corridor for the future I-11.

Passenger Rail Corridor Study
During the past year, ADOT identified six potential rail alternatives and one express bus alternative that could link Phoenix and Tucson and relieve expected congestion along I-10 in the future. This fall, ADOT held its second public comment period to gather input from community members about what they think about passenger rail. Nearly 3,000 people filled out a survey at community events or online. ADOT expects to narrow the list to two or three alternatives in the spring of 2013. A final alternative will likely be announced towards the end of 2013.

Of course, no 2012 wrap-up would be complete without a look at the Motor Vehicle Division and Enforcement and Compliance Division …

Motor Vehicle Division
From a new process designed to increase security for hundreds of thousands of driver license customers to outreach for the homeless population, 2012 marked another busy year for the Motor Vehicle Division. While service to customers receives the most attention, revenue collection is a vital part of MVD responsibilities. This year MVD safely and efficiently accounted for nearly $1 billion in state revenue while conducting in excess of 16 million transactions in person, through the mail and online, an increase of 3 percent from one year ago. In addition to serving the general public, MVD continued to work closely with and improve services for its industry and government partners statewide, including motor carriers, motor vehicle dealers, law enforcement agencies and the courts.

Enforcement and Compliance Division
As a means of improving highway safety throughout Arizona, the Enforcement and Compliance Division has accomplished a number of milestones during 2012. Officers completed 14,137 commercial vehicle inspections that contributed to driver and vehicle safety. Enforcement and Compliance officers also weighed 7,926,224 commercial vehicles to ensure that vehicle weights are at the legal level, reducing deterioration of Arizona’s highway infrastructure. While highway safety is of utmost importance to the Enforcement and Compliance Division officers and customer service representatives, the division also generated $16,324,134 in revenue from the sale of 461,587 permits to the commercial vehicle industry. The division has also worked closely with other state, local and federal law-enforcement agencies to ensure that a broad highway safety program is implemented to secure the safety of the motoring public when traveling around and near commercial vehicles. In addition to enforcement activities, ADOT’s Executive Hearing Office resolved 18,101 cases, a 25 percent increase from last year.

But, wait … there’s more!
There are just a few more items we want to remember before we move on to 2013. These don’t necessarily fit into any category, but they’re significant nonetheless…

Pull Aside, Stay Alive
Prior to the start monsoon season, ADOT, in cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service, launched a public awareness campaign urging drivers to Pull Aside Stay Alive when they encounter a dust storm. As part of the campaign, ADOT used social media to engage the public and asked people to show off their creativity by submitting short poems about the dangers of dust storms and more than 1,500 haikus were submitted in one week.

Traffic Operations Center Upgrades
In September, ADOT unveiled its new Traffic Operations Center, which underwent a $2.1 million facelift. This high-tech control center, based in Phoenix, underwent a comprehensive refurbishment, including the addition of 40 reconfigurable 55-inch flat-panel displays, providing state-of-the art tools for the 24/7 facility. The upgrades to the center’s communications system allow ADOT staff to keep an eye on traffic conditions around the state and provide options for motorists to avoid congestion.

OK … it was nice to look back, but starting next week we’ll be back to blogging about ADOT’s present and future. Thanks for following along!

Multiple transportation projects progressed in 2012

Multiple transportation projects progressed in 2012


Multiple transportation projects progressed in 2012

Multiple transportation projects progressed in 2012

January 3, 2013

ADOT worked on transportation projects throughout the state in 2012.

Here we are, already three days into this New Year, and we’re still reminiscing about 2012.

You can’t really blame us for looking back, though. Last year was a busy one for ADOT and it was full of major transportation accomplishments!

Yesterday we recalled the 2012 transportation highlights from just around the Valley, but today we’re shifting our focus to the rest of the state. Several projects took shape last year and many improvements could be seen all around Arizona. Here are a few notables...

I-10 Widening between Phoenix and Tucson
ADOT completed two widening projects on Interstate 10 that connect the state’s two largest metropolitan areas — Phoenix and Tucson. A $31.3 million project (I-8 to SR 87) improved a 12-mile segment of I-10 between Casa Grande and Picacho in Pinal County and a $31 million project (Val Vista to Earley Roads) widened a 10-mile stretch within the Casa Grande area. Both projects increased the capacity of the highway from two lanes to three in each direction.

I-17/SR 69 Cordes Junction Traffic Interchange
ADOT continued to make substantial progress on its largest project currently in northern Arizona. The Cordes Junction traffic interchange is undergoing a major reconstruction at the junction of I-17 and SR 69. After beginning construction in August 2011, ADOT is entering the final stages of this $50.9 project to improve safety and traffic flow at this busy intersection. This month, ADOT completed work on a new flyover bridge, which will carry northbound traffic headed to the Prescott area over I-17 and connect directly to northbound SR 69. The project is expected to be completed in June 2013.

US 93 Widening
A popular travel route between Phoenix and Las Vegas, ADOT continued its commitment to widen US 93 in 2012. A seven-mile segment (Southbound Wagon Bow Ranch and Southbound Deluge Wash) of US 93 north of Wikieup was finished in July. The $25.9 million project provides motorists with new southbound lanes and another completed section of four-lane divided highway.

I-17 Munds Park Traffic Interchange
Twenty miles south of Flagstaff, the I-17 Munds Park traffic interchange underwent a complete reconstruction, including the replacement of two bridges that were built in 1958 with two new bridges measuring 100-feet long (replacing the old 25-foot-long bridges). After completing the northbound bridge in 2011, ADOT replaced the southbound bridge in 2012 and the $10 million project is nearly complete with all lanes open. Final paving will take place next summer.

I-10/SR 90 Traffic Interchange
After nearly two years of construction, motorists traveling on I-10 through Cochise County are enjoying a new overpass bridge at SR 90 near Benson. In addition to constructing the new bridge, crews straightened the roadway west of the interchange to eliminate sweeping curves, widened SR 90 south of I-10 and constructed new access roads north of the interstate, all part of a $27.6 safety improvement project.

SR 64 Tusayan Improvement Project
ADOT completed a $4.1 million safety improvement project last summer on SR 64 through the town of Tusayan, which sits along the route leading to the south entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Improvements included widening the five-lane divided highway to allow for raised medians, bus pull outs, several crosswalks and two new roundabouts.

A look back at some of the milestones from 2012

A look back at some of the milestones from 2012


A look back at some of the milestones from 2012

A look back at some of the milestones from 2012

January 2, 2013


Photo collage: 747 airplane flies parallel to freeway overpass, rustication on a new sound wall, shovels sticking up from a mound of dirt for a ground breaking, works in cherry picker installing overhead signs, concrete and rebar support walls.

2012 was full of major transportation accomplishments.

Happy New Year!!

We think 2013 holds a lot of promise and look forward to the year ahead, but before we get back to blogging about what’s on ADOT’s horizon, we thought we’d take a look back at the year that was …!

In 2012, not only did Arizona celebrate its centennial, but the year was full of major accomplishments for the Arizona Department of Transportation – projects progressed, bridges were built, highways were maintained and drivers were warned to ‘Pull Aside, Stay Alive’ during dust storms (who could forget #HaboobHaiku?).!

Join us as we reminisce the rest of this week. Today we take a look at some 2012 transportation highlights from around the Valley, tomorrow our focus will shift to the rest of the state and on Friday we’ll feature some MVD and planning achievements.!

I-10/Loop 303 Interchange Project
This year saw substantial progress on what will be a three-year project to construct the multi-level freeway-to-freeway interchange to link I-10 with Loop 303 in Goodyear.!

Drivers in the area were able to watch as crews built sections of elevated ramps that will carry traffic to and from Loop 303 north of I-10 by fall 2014. ADOT also opened new I-10 ramps at Sarival Avenue and Citrus Road to replace the now-closed ramps at the Cotton Lane interchange, making room for the larger I-10/Loop 303 interchange to continue.!

Crews also worked on significant improvements to stormwater drainage systems and opened a new section of Cotton Lane between McDowell and Thomas roads. The $134 million project also will slightly shift the alignment of I-10 to the north to allow the future connections between the two freeways.!

Additional Loop 303 Improvements
The $129 million Loop 303 expansion project south of Grand Avenue (US 60) to Peoria Avenue certainly began to take shape in 2012 as ADOT worked to improve one of the West Valley's key roadways into a six-lane divided freeway between I-10 and US 60.!

Traffic was switched this fall onto the future northbound freeway lanes to allow crews to concentrate on the southbound side of the project. ADOT plans to open the southbound lanes in the Grand-to-Peoria area by fall 2013. Other Loop 303 widening work between I-10 and Grand Avenue is scheduled for completion in 2014.!

State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway)
Under the Maricopa Association of Governments’ 20-Year Regional Transportation Plan, work started in 2012 on the one-mile stretch of what will be a brand new freeway – State Route 24 (Gateway Freeway) – between Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) and Ellsworth Road in southeast Mesa. The new freeway segment, scheduled for completion by fall 2013, will provide drivers with improved access to the growing Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Mesa issued bonds to accelerate the project’s start by several years.!

Grand Avenue (US 60)
ADOT wrapped up a pair of projects in 2012 to add lanes, improve intersections and ease traffic flow along Grand Avenue between 83rd Avenue and Loop 303. The stretch includes a new and durable rubberized asphalt surface.!

State Route 143/Sky Harbor Boulevard Interchange
Crews completed new ramps allowing improved access at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. One new ramp allows drivers for the first time to go directly from eastbound Sky Harbor Boulevard to southbound State Route 143 near the east end of the airport. A new southbound SR 143 ramp provides a direct connection to westbound Sky Harbor Boulevard.

Wow, 2012 was a busy year! Did any of these projects have an impact on your commute? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned – tomorrow we’ll look back on some of the transportation milestones that happened statewide.

ADOT takes a look back at 2011

ADOT takes a look back at 2011


ADOT takes a look back at 2011

ADOT takes a look back at 2011

January 3, 2012

2011's accomplishments include several projects.

The new year officially is here, but before we dive into 2012 we’re going to take a quick look back.

ADOT’s Public Information/Media Relations team came up with a great list of the state’s major transportation accomplishments from 2011 and we thought we’d share it here on the blog!

From new freeway openings to the approval of ADOT’s Long Range Transportation Plan, here's a look at some of the highlights …

Phoenix Area Freeways:

Loop 303 Opens

ADOT widened major stretches of Phoenix area freeways in 2011 and opened the first new segment of freeway to be built under the Maricopa Association of Government’s 20-year Regional Transportation Plan. Fourteen miles of Loop 303 were opened in May between Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Parkway in Peoria, allowing drivers for the first time to use Loop 303 to make the 39-mile trip between I-17 and I-10.

HOV Lane Additions

Drivers benefited from two accelerated projects to add High Occupancy Vehicle lanes along Loops 101 and 202. The final 30 miles of HOV lanes along Loop 101 between State Route 51 in north Phoenix and I-10 in Tolleson were opened in stages during the year and completed in November. Meanwhile, in the Chandler area, 12 miles of carpool lanes were completed this fall along Loop 202 Santan Freeway between I-10 and Gilbert Road.

I-10 Widening in West Valley

Another significant milestone was marked in August with the completion of ADOT’s three-year initiative to reconstruct and widen I-10 between Loop 101 and Verrado Way. Those projects modernized I-10, transforming what had been a limited highway with two lanes in each direction into a modern freeway that now provides as many as five lanes in each direction – including carpool lanes.

State Highway System:

Mescal Road/J-Six Ranch Road Bridge

Just over six months after a fiery crash damaged the Mescal Road/J-Six Ranch Road bridge, ADOT swiftly rebuilt the bridge to reconnect the Cochise County communities of Mescal and J-Six Ranch, which were separated by I-10 and depend on the overpass for convenient access to goods, services and neighbors. While the bridge was out of service, residents and workers in the Benson-area communities were required to take lengthy detours around I-10 to reach the other side of the highway. Federal Highway Administration emergency relief funds, a shortened time frame for designing the replacement bridge and a quick construction bid process all helped put the project on the fast track. A typical bridge construction project can take up to two years.

State Route 260 Widening

Continuing a decade-long commitment to expand the capacity of SR 260, ADOT completed a project to widen the highway starting 15 miles east of Payson from Little Green Valley to Thompson Draw. The $20 million project is the fourth of six projects to construct a four-lane divided highway from Star Valley to the top of the Mogollon Rim.

State Route 87 Improvements

ADOT fulfilled its commitment to complete SR 87 improvements before the Memorial Day weekend and in time for the busy tourism season in the Rim Country. The $11.8 million reconstruction and widening project included the addition of a third southbound lane to enhance safety and traffic flow along the uphill stretch during drives between Payson and the Phoenix area. The improvements were the latest in a series of projects during the last two decades to enhance travel on SR 87, which is now a divided four-lane highway between Mesa and Payson.

US 93 Widening Project

Shortly after ADOT completed a $71.3 million widening project on the US 93 approach to the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge in 2010, the first Desert Bighorn Sheep were spotted in February using one of the three wildlife crossings that were constructed to protect motorists and provide a safe crossing for the native animals. The project earned ADOT several honors this year, including the Arizona Chapter American Public Works Association Award, 2011 Public Works Project of the Year and FHWA’s 2011 Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Award for the agency’s creative and innovative solution to balance motorists’ safety, while protecting wildlife and connecting ecosystems.

Hassayampa River Bridge Project

Just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, ADOT completed a $3.9 million bridge project over the Hassayampa River on I-10, approximately 40 miles west of downtown Phoenix. This area is a major route for travelers heading to and from California along I-10.

Overnight Bridge Demolition

On a late April night in southern Arizona, ADOT tore down two bridges in 10 hours – no small task. ADOT had already planned to remove the old Marsh Station bridge, which required a 67-mile overnight detour for motorists on I-10 east of Tucson. About three weeks before the demolition was set to occur, two semi trucks collided under the overpass at the Mescal Road/J-Six Ranch Road bridge. The bridge was badly damaged from the resulting fire and would have to be replaced.

Planning and Programming:

Long Range Transportation Plan

For more than two years, ADOT worked toward developing the state’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, a blueprint that looks 25 years into the future to determine how to plan for and fund transportation projects that keep up with Arizona’s needs. The State Transportation Board formally approved the Long Range Transportation Plan, also known as What Moves You Arizona, in November, allowing ADOT planners to move ahead with their work to develop a transportation system that will carry Arizona into the future. The award-winning program was nationally recognized for planning and involving the public.

Intercity Rail Study

In October, ADOT kicked off the public outreach phase of its intercity rail study. The study’s goal is to identify if there is a need for intercity rail along I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. Over the course of a month, ADOT gathered information, data and comments. The agency will provide its findings to the public and to policymakers, so they can make an informed decision about how to move forward. ADOT is looking at all options, which include rail, transit—and the option to build nothing at all. The study will be complete in 2013.

Bicycle Safety Action Plan

As part of our public safety plan, ADOT is developing a Bicycle Safety Action Plan to help keep cyclists safe on Arizona’s highways. The goal is to reduce the number of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles and improve safety for both cyclists and drivers.  The goal of the Bicycle Safety Action Plan is to reduce the total number of bicycle crashes on Arizona highways by 12 percent by 2018.

Safe Routes to School

This year, nearly $3.5 million in grant funding was distributed by ADOT for 21 Safe Routes to School projects for schools and communities statewide. Eight of these projects, totaling $2.8 million, were designated for infrastructure improvements, such as the construction of sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, signage and striping. An additional 13 projects, totaling $720,000, went toward non-infrastructure elements, such as providing bike helmets to students, safety education and law enforcement. All Safe Routes to School projects are designed to get kids walking or biking and adopt healthy habits.

Motor Vehicle Division and Enforcement and Compliance Division:

Motor Vehicle Division

MVD continued to improve the quality of customer service at MVD offices by shortening the wait times for the more common motor vehicle and driver license transactions, while serving over 3.5 million customers at MVD’s 54 offices or satellite/specialized offices in 2011 The average wait time per transaction was approximately 19 minutes, compared to over 45 minutes just five years ago. Throughout the year, MVD also provided transaction assistance to returning soldiers with the U.S. Army Intelligence Command at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. ADOT also launched several new specialty license plates, including the long-awaited Arizona Centennial plate.

Enforcement and Compliance Division

ADOT officers conducted Operation Bullhead, joint-agency commercial vehicle enforcement operation in Mohave County at the request of Bullhead City officials. ADOT officers recovered stolen vehicles identified during inspections. The enforcement division also created a Single Trip Overweight International Border Permit program for produce transporters out of Mexico and assisted local law enforcement with scrap metal yard investigations.

Other Accomplishments:

Grand Canyon National Park Airport

In June, the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, owned and operated by ADOT, began daily 737 airline service from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Travelers can now book a flight on Vision Airlines out of Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. The new service is the first step in a larger vision to make it easier for all tourists to visit the canyon. The Transportation Security Administration was also stationed at the airport this year, making it easier for airline companies to fly into the airport, since they no longer have to provide their own passenger screening.