Tags Articles tagged with "ADOT"


Restrictions begin July 15 as project nears 80% completion

Closures and detours in the area of the overpass begin Monday.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers that State Route 347 in Maricopa will be closed between Edison and Bowlin roads from 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. July 15.

The full closure is needed as construction crews make final preparations for the scheduled opening of the new SR 347 overpass at 5 a.m. Monday. Detour signs will be in place to direct motorists around the full closure as access onto SR 347 between Edison and Bowlin roads will be restricted.

Motorists in the restricted area when the closure begins should proceed with caution when exiting the area. Police officers will assist with enforcing the restriction and ensuring drivers safety vacate the area.

Other road closures and restrictions will begin after the overpass opens as the project enters its third, and final, phase. These include:

• The Alterra Parkway/SR 347 intersection will be closed in all directions from 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. The full intersection closure is needed to install signal foundations and new poles.
• The full closure of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway between SR 347 and Plainview Street for approximately three months begins Monday.
• North- and southbound travel will be reduced to two lanes in each direction on a segment of the old SR 347 alignment, between Hathaway Avenue and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, through the end of construction in the fall. The segment of the old SR 347 alignment that will remain open after the project is completed is being renamed “Maricopa Road.”


Store owner remains unsure about future

Built in the 1950s, the NAPA Auto Parts store has a new neighbor on its east side as ADOT completes the SR 347 overpass. Photo by Jim Headley

The Arizona Department of Transportation has begun condemnation proceedings to take possession of the Maricopa NAPA site.

“We are now in condemnation proceedings to take the entire property.” — Tom Herrmann, ADOT

Tena Dugan, owner of NAPA Auto Parts and Mel’s Auto Repair, located on the corner of State Route 347 and the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, said she remains unsure where she might move her business. She does not own the building.

Due to the construction of the State Route 347 overpass looming on the store’s east side, ADOT officially acknowledged Friday they are attempting to condemn the property.

The owner of the property in county paperwork is Marathon Enterprises LLC of Casa Grande. Craig Scott is the owner of Marathon, Dugan said.

According to court records, ADOT paid $404,000 in earnest money to the Pinal County Clerk of the Court in 2017 for the property. In February this year, Superior Court Judge Steven J. Fuller issued an amended order for immediate possession dependent on another cash bond of $485,850. It is part of a suit ADOT filed two years ago naming Mel’s Auto LLC, Marathon Enterprises and the Pinal County treasurer as defendants.

Tom Herrmann, ADOT public information officer, acknowledged plans to condemn the property.

“We have converted from what was a partial taking of the NAPA site,” Herrmann said. “Originally, the plan was (to take) a small area on the east side of the NAPA site. We are now in condemnation proceedings to take the entire property.”

He said it remains unknown what ADOT might do with the site.

“We are about to start settlement negotiations. We are not near a final agreement or a price on the property, but that process has started. How long it will take is really up in the air,” Herrmann said.

Dugan said as far as she knows, ADOT is her current landlord and they must give her 60 days’ notice before eviction.

“Every day I have 60 more days,” Dugan said. “I’ve worked with a relocation specialist and I’m just going with the flow. I’m trying to finalize everything, so we can move some place. I don’t have an answer of what we’re going to do.”

Dugan has another NAPA store in Stanfield. Dugan said she could move her Maricopa services there until she lands at a new location.


Traffic lights at Plainview about to be operational

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Arizona Department of Transportation

Crews are scheduled to pour the concrete deck for the final section of a State Route 347 overpass starting this week as the Arizona Department of Transportation moves ever closer to opening the bridge and new highway alignment by early summer.

The work is scheduled for 1 to 5 a.m. Thursday, April 25, and from 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, to 5 a.m. Wednesday, May 1. For the safety of drivers, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will be closed at the overpass and traffic will be re-routed while crews pour the concrete.

Completing the bridge deck above Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will clear the way for crews to begin paving the new alignment of SR 347.

Drivers should watch for lane restrictions and possible delays starting in late April as workers begin connecting the new alignment with the current SR 347 at Alterra Parkway on the south and Hathaway Avenue on the north.

A new traffic signal at Plainview and Honeycutt roads will begin operating in late April. Plainview is a new street built just west of the Maricopa Unified School District to connect Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway with Honeycutt Road. Northbound drivers on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will use Plainview and Honeycutt Road to reach SR 347’s new alignment.

The new alignment is expected to be ready for traffic by this summer. Honeycutt Road, which has been closed for the past few months to accommodate construction, will open to the new alignment at the same time. An extension of Honeycutt Avenue, located south of the railroad tracks, also will connect with the new alignment.

Once the new alignment is open to traffic, crews will begin making changes to the current roadway, including cul-de-sacs just north and south of the railroad crossing and just north of Alterra Parkway. That work is expected to be completed by November.

The $55 million overpass will eliminate the need for drivers to wait for trains crossing SR 347. Train traffic and vehicular traffic are expected to double in the area in the next 20 years.

Lights at Honeycutt Road and Plainview are expected to be operational by the end of April.

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The Arizona Department of Transportation is conducting an environmental impact study (EIS) to identify a potential 280-mile corridor for I-11 between Nogales and Wickenburg. The Tier 1 environmental review process considers a wide range of Build Corridor Alternatives, as well as a No-Build (do-nothing) Alternative.

Public hearings on the Draft Tier 1 EIS will provide information on the recommended corridor alternative and accept formal public comments via the comment form, verbally to a court reporter, and through three-minute verbal comments in front of a panel of study team members.

Public Hearing Schedule:

Monday, April 29, 2019 5-8 p.m.
– Palo Verde Energy Education Center
600 N. Airport Road, Buckeye

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4-7 p.m.
– Wickenburg Community Center
155 N. Tegner Street, Wickenburg

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 5-8 p.m.
– Holiday Inn
777 N. Pinal Avenue, Casa Grande

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 4-7 p.m.
– Quality Hotel Americana
639 N. Grand Avenue, Nogales

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 3-8 p.m.
– Tucson Convention Center Ballrooms/Lobby
260 S. Church Avenue, Tucson

Saturday May 11, 2019 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
– Marana High School Cafeteria
12000 W. Emigh Road, Marana

Residents can review the Tier 1 Draft online or at the Maricopa Public Library, or purchase a copy at Impressive Imaging (44480 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 102).

Public comments are due by May 31, 2019.

Photo by Jim Headley

Ever see a Zephyr fly? Thursday, one actually did in Maricopa.

Maricopa’s vintage California Zephyr streamline passenger car was moved down Casa Grande-Maricopa Highway to make room for the new State Route 347 overpass in the center of the city.

GoPro footage:

Shortly after 10 a.m., two large cranes carefully picked up the Zephyr and gently placed it onto a large semitrailer. It was chained down and driven about three blocks down the highway. Again, the cranes picked it up and placed it on its new rails, beside the former Rotary swimming pool.

The Maricopa Historical Society purchased the Zephyr from Pinal County for the sum of $1.

“They were interested in cooperating with us, the City and ADOT, so that this could be put here and be a community centerpiece going forward,” said Paul Shirk, president of the Society.

Funds for moving the Zephyr came from county funds garnered through the Arizona Department of Transportation’s purchase of the property where the railcar previously sat.

“Because of the overpass, we had to move the Zephyr,” Shirk said. “The county was the owner of the Zephyr at that time, so they put that fund up, so the citizens of Maricopa did not have to incur any expense to do this. Now we’re working with the City, and with the generous contribution of the land by John and Marylou Smith, the City can have a park here and we can have a place for the Zephyr.”

Moving a large train car might be a stressful operation, but Shirk disagreed.

“It was a blast. There is no tense, this is just fun.  Too many people say history is boring. Too much memorizing names and dates. We don’t do that. We tell a story in a fun way. Our meeting is every first Monday of the month over at the library. We spend a little time on business and then spend an hour-and-a-half on fun,” he said, adding, “We have a lot of history to tell.”

Shirk, who was a little teary-eyed when the car was lifted off its rails, said he arrived for the move at 5 a.m. and city personnel had everything organized and in place for the 10 a.m. move under Mike Riggs’ leadership.

“Everything just went according to plan. It just clicked,” Shirk said.

Riggs, assistant director of public works for Maricopa, has been putting together the Zephyr’s move over the past 30 days. He said the entire move went without a problem.

“It’s been a great experience,” Riggs said. “It’s great how the City all participated –  the police department and all the divisions jumped in to help. It has been an awesome 30 days.”

Riggs said the crane company that moved the Zephyr, Southwest Industrial Rigging, also moved it to Maricopa in 2001 and will “swing the bridge girders into place over the highway this weekend.”

Friday and Saturday night, the highway will be closed in that section from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the installation of the bridge girders.

“It was imperative that we move the Zephyr today,” Riggs said. “We have a great spot for the Zephyr to sit now for years to come.”

Mayor Christian Price said watching the Zephyr fly was truly an event.

“It was amazing to see it come off the track where it’s been sitting for the past decade plus,” said Price. “It was amazing to watch them thread the needle with that train between the two cranes.”

Price said Maricopa has great things ahead as the overpass takes shape to ease transportation.

“We have been working so hard for the past decade on trying to get through the recession and put things in place that will allow for quality of life. Now we are entering the next phase. That next phase is the explosion of Maricopa, from the standpoint of businesses, commercial and retail. That is what we are working towards,” Price said.

In its new home, near Maricopa Veterans Center, the Zephyr will “be a mainstay that represents Maricopa is welcoming to the community and to people who are visiting. We are going to welcome newcomers in and we’re going to make sure that we have a lot of good events for the people who live here,” Shirk said.

Mike Kemery of Maricopa’s VFW post was among veterans who turned out to watch the railcar move next door. He said the historical society was making its future parking around the Zephyr available to veterans for special events.

Rick Horst, Maricopa city manager, said moving the Zephyr in a safe and organized fashion represents the entire community’s structure.

“Many communities are so divided on so many issues. You just don’t sense that here,” Horst said. “That’s what makes this place feel like home. The future is whatever we want it to be. Our goal is to make sure we create a place where everyone can be successful, whether it is a single parent, a family, a business, a nonprofit, the educational system – whatever it is we want to create the environment that the true values of hard work will pay off in this community.”

Detours, traffic-signal timing and trains combine for frequent backups through the overpass construction zone. Photo by Jim Headley

 Getting across the city of Maricopa can become challenging, if not seemingly impossible, at times with traffic backing up in three directions. 

It is all expected with the construction of the new SR 347 Overpass that’s going on in the central part of the city. 

Steve Elliott, Arizona Department of Transportation assistant communications director for public information, stated in a written email to InMaricopa, “With the SR 347 overpass project now in a very busy construction phase, we recommend that motorists plan ahead and budget extra time.” 

One major problem in the traffic patterns is the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway at its junction with State Route 347 in the heart of the construction zone. 

For those using Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, closing Honeycutt Road just east of 347, which is necessary to make essential improvements, has meant additional traffic at the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway intersection with 347. Some had used Pershing and Honeycutt as a way around that intersection,” Elliott wrote. 

 With heavy traffic, train delays combined with disrupted light cycles leave motorists on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in longer and longer backups. 

ADOT monitors traffic flow in the project area to assess whether there are ways to minimize delays, but the fact remains that this is a busy construction zone and will remain so for the coming months,” Elliott wrote. “Traffic light timing around the railroad tracks is an ongoing challenge, even without a construction project going on, due to the number of trains passing through each day. ADOT works to adjust signals as needed to reduce delays caused when trains pass. When complete, the overpass will eliminate train delays and improve safety for those using SR 347.” 



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Highway Patrol stops a driver near the city limits of Maricopa. Photo by Mason Callejas

Beginning Dec. 1, a new $32 fee will be part of vehicle registration in Arizona.

The Public Safety Fee was established by the Legislature through House Bill 2166 this year. It goes into effect for registrations due in January.

Most motorists will pay $32 per vehicle, per year. Motorists can start paying Dec. 1. Street-legal golf carts and primarily off-highway vehicles will pay $5. Those who register a vehicle annually or pay for a two- or five-year registration will pay the entire amount up front for each registered year.

There are approximately 2.3 million vehicles registered in Arizona.

The Public Safety Fee changes the Highway Patrol’s source of revenue away from a gas tax.

The gas-tax account – Arizona Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) – was established in 1997 to pay for highway infrastructure. For the past decade, much of the Highway Patrol’s budget was part HURF.

The Public Safety Fee will free up all HURF funds to go toward maintenance and construction of roadways as originally intended.

Work on the SR 347 overpass continues along Honeycutt Road, which will be closed until summer between Pershing Street and John Wayne Parkway. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

According to Arizona Department of Transportation, Honeycutt Road is scheduled to close at State Route 347 for several months, beginning Dec. 6.

That means there will be no access from Honeycutt Road to John Wayne Parkway as activity on the SR 347 overpass project picks up significantly entering the second phase of construction.

ADOT will continue to maintain two-way traffic on Honeycutt Road, allowing access to nearby businesses as well as Pershing Street. Honeycutt Road will be closed to all traffic between Pershing Street and SR 347.

On the same day Honeycutt Road is scheduled to close, ADOT will open a newly built road – Plainview Street – that will help drivers navigate around the construction area.

Following are the recommended detours for motorists who normally use Honeycutt Road:

Eastbound travel:

  • Access Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway (MCGH) from SR 347
    • Turn north on the new Plainview Street (located just west of the Maricopa Unified School District building)
    • Proceed east on Honeycutt Road

Westbound travel:

  • From Honeycutt Road, turn south on the new Plainview Street (located just west of the Maricopa Unified School District building) to MCGH
  • Travel northwest on MCGH to SR 347

The closure is needed for crews to begin widening and making other improvements, such as adding new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, to the south side of Honeycutt Road.

Crews will also begin building the new elevation for Honeycutt Road, which will connect with the new section of SR 347 once the overpass is built. In addition, a new signalized intersection at SR 347 and Honeycutt Road will be built during phase two of construction.

The closure of Honeycutt Road at SR 347 is anticipated to be in place until summer 2019.

Intestate 10 near Casa Blanca exchange.


A newly approved study will examine potential capacity and other upgrades to Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande.

The study will be led by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The I-10 evaluation is expected to take about 18 months to complete, including an expected cost and phasing strategy.

Recently, the Gila River Indian Community Council agreed to participate in the study, which will establish an overall master plan for the corridor.

“The Gila River Indian Community is very appreciative of MAG for spearheading this effort, and we look forward to being part of the team that completes this study,” said GRIC Gov. Stephen R. Lewis. “The Community believes this study will help ensure the safety of the Community’s members and residents of the surrounding municipalities as they travel the I-10 corridor and promote development both on and off the Gila River Indian Reservation.”

The goal is to identify major elements that will need to be improved or replaced and determine how to provide the necessary capacity to meet current and future travel demand. The bridge across the Gila River and the interchange at Casa Blanca Road are two examples of existing structures that may have to be replaced.

“As ADOT has made significant investments through the years to increase I-10 capacity between the state’s two largest metropolitan areas, our plans for the 23 miles across the Gila River Indian Community have always recognized the sovereign tribal authority over this area,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski.

MAG has allocated about $65.5 million for improvements to the portion of I-10 in Maricopa County.

The I-10 study will be coordinated with a study being conducted by MAG in partnership with GRIC for State Route 347, which connects the City of Maricopa to I-10 across the Gila River Indian Community. MAG serves the metropolitan Phoenix area, including the City of Maricopa.

MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek, said GRIC input would be an important part of the I-10 study. The economic development activities being pursued by the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority in the northern section of GRIC will be considered in the study.


Road construction on Plainview Street and Honeycutt Road continues with the installation of sidewalks, concrete curbs and gutters, and building of the subsurface for the future road. A portion of Plainview will be paved on Oct. 17, with the remainder of the road being paved Oct. 19-20. Plainview Street will continue to remain closed after the paving is completed.

The following overnight closures are scheduled on Honeycutt Road in front of the Maricopa Unified School District Transportation Facility, east of Pershing Street:

• From 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, to 5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.
• From 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, to 5 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12.

The closures are needed to remove and relocate a water valve under the street.

Construction of the bridge continues as pier cross members are put in place to provide additional support for the structure. The bridge structural work is taking place away from traffic between the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. one night during the week. MCG will remain open for travel during this time with traffic shifted away from the work zone.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors.

Head to www.OverpassTracker.com for an overview of the project, frequent updates on traffic impacts, project timelines, maps and videos of what the project will look like when complete. The City of Maricopa has also established a 24/7 Hotline for you to call and get answers to more specific questions or concerns at 520-316-6910.

InMaricopa photo

Danger on the road rose last year in Maricopa, according to a state report published Tuesday.

The 2017 Crash Facts for the State of Arizona, an annual summary prepared by the Arizona Department of Transportation, showed vehicle accidents increased nearly 5 percent within city limits from the year before.

There were 298 automobile accidents reported in Maricopa in 2017 – earning the city a third-place rank in Pinal County for the highest number of crashes behind Casa Grande (761) and Apache Junction (456).

Maricopa placed second in the county in the number of alcohol-related crashes last year.

The city experienced 25 accidents that involved alcohol, up from 11 crashes in 2016. Casa Grande again led the category with 26 crashes; Apache Junction followed Maricopa with 21.

In 2017, people injured from alcohol related crashes rose by one (from 9 people the year before to 10).

There were zero crash fatalities attributed to alcohol last year. One death was caused by an alcohol-related crash in 2016.

Maricopa placed third in the number of injury accidents (87), number of property damage only crashes (210), and the number of persons injured in accidents (117). Casa Grande and Apache Junction preceded Maricopa respectively in rank in each of those categories in 2017.

A positive statistic reported in the data showed auto fatalities lowered from the year before.

The number of people killed in Maricopa auto accidents reportedly decreased from three deaths in 2016 to one fatality last year, according to the report.

The statewide report used data compiled from Arizona Traffic Crash Reports that are submitted to ADOT by state, county, city, tribal and other law enforcement agencies, according to the report.

Unincorporated area statistics are not broken down in the summary. View the report here.

Pinal County experienced nearly 4,000 traffic accidents last year – No. 3 in the state behind Maricopa County (93,596) and Pima County (11,707).

In 2017, 1,000 people were killed on roadways statewide.


Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Another long-standing structure in the Heritage District went down Thursday morning. The former Pinal County Sheriff’s Office substation that most recently served as the F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank was turned into scrap while subcontractor Breinholt Construction also scooped up the pavement of the parking lot. Former fire department administration buildings in the same lot are next on the list as the Arizona Department of Transportation prepares for Ames Construction to begin work on a new overpass across the railroad bridge. Earlier this week, Spoon’s diner, the Copa Center and other structures were demolished.

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Copa Center and Spoon’s diner were demolished Tuesday morning as Arizona Department of Transportation started to clear land it acquired for an overpass across the railroad tracks. There are about three weeks of demolitions in store as well as utility work.

Photo by Mason Callejas


Neighbors in a residential area say their quality of life has been disturbed and their road safety is at risk thanks to a speed limit increase on a busy state route.

Greg Swindall, his wife Carol and their friend Roger Tull are Acacia Crossings residents with a bone to pick with the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Their neighborhood borders SR 238 and, for the past six months, their friends and they have noticed an increase in traffic noise and speed.

The culprit?

ADOT increased the speed limit on the highway from 40 mph to 50 mph next to the subdivision in August, and neighbors complain large trucks and other traffic drive well over the new speed limit.

“The real problem is when diesel trucks come into town and they’re engine breaking,” Greg Swindall said. “They’re down-shifting and some of those engines are really, really loud.”

Tull, vice president for the neighborhood HOA board, said residents make regular complaints during meetings against the loud, rumbling noise braking diesel trucks make when approaching John Wayne Parkway.

Carol Swindall was visiting her neighbor one morning and heard a big rig brake just outside the subdivision.

“I about jumped out of my seat. It was so loud,” she said.

But the noise increase isn’t the only issue. Residents say safety is a concern too.

Traffic heading east and west is traveling around 10 mph over the new limits, neighbors estimate, and it’s making access out of their neighborhood more difficult and dangerous.

“Now when they come in town they’re doing 60 to 65 mph, and when you’re turning out of Roosevelt and you’re not used to those trucks being on top of you in a heartbeat, we have pulled out and really had to speed up because you don’t realize how fast those trucks are going,” Greg Swindall said.

Residents expressed their concerns with ADOT online and by telephone, but ADOT redirects their concerns to local authorities or within their own engineering department. The Swindalls said follow-up is non-existent.

“I just don’t understand the rationale of why they did it,” Greg Swindall said. “Why would you increase the speed right behind a residential area?”

ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said the reason behind the increase is department staff observed traffic in the area driving faster than the previously posted speed limits.

Herrmann said most of the speed limits in the ADOT-managed stretch of SR 238 were generally 55 mph.

The observation led to a speed study.

“Following the ‘Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices’ from the Federal Highway Administration, speed limits are posted to reflect the maximum speed considered safe and reasonable by the majority of drivers,” Herrmann said.

The majority of drivers defined by ADOT is the speed driven at or below by 85 percent of drivers.

West of Acacia Crossings, the study led ADOT to increase its portion of the roadway from 55 mph to 60 mph.

But residents in the subdivision experienced what they view as a substantial 10 mph increase just outside their neighborhood and would like to see it changed back.

“We aren’t asking a whole lot. Just put it back the way it was,” Greg Swindall said.

This story appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

A freight train rolls across SR 347, delaying traffic in a familiar scene for Maricopans. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Construction trailers for the overpass are expected to be in place in Maricopa by the end of the week.

But that is not the beginning of construction.

Maricopa Public Works Director Bill Fay said Ames Construction, the contractor for Arizona Department of Transportation, has not yet submitted a formal calendar to ADOT. Ames is also working on major projects like the South Mountain Freeway.

Fay said Ames has been working on value engineering analysis with ADOT. That could involve installing longer girders for the same money as the planned girders.

“They have plenty of time to start construction,” Fay said. “Even if they were to sit another four months.”

The planned overpass, or grade separation, will carry John Wayne Parkway traffic across the Union Pacific tracks on a bridge.

The construction trailers are planned to be placed south of the tracks near Honeycutt Avenue.

The city held a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the project Nov. 20.

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Traffic waits at a light at the Union Pacific tracks, where an overpass is planned.

Though overpass construction is delayed, Arizona Department of Transportation intends to begin tearing down structures on properties it owns in the Heritage District in mid-February to make way for the overpass.

Those properties include the former fire department administration buildings, the Copa Center and the former sheriff’s office building that used to house F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department has relocated its administration to 45654 W. Edison Road across from Fire Station 575. F.O.R. has moved its food distribution to Santa Cruz Elementary School while it prepares its new property beside the blue Business Barn south of the railroad tracks. Senior citizens who used to patronize the Copa Center for games and gatherings have also been relocated to Santa Cruz Elementary.

Actual construction of the overpass is expected to begin later in February or early March, delayed by contractor Ames Construction’s continuing work on an earlier project. ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said an official start date for construction has not been set.

'Dancing this dance of sensitivity'


A joint-litigation attorney for Pinal County Regional Transportation Authority wrote a letter to the Department of Revenue on Wednesday asking when and how the voter-approved half-cent sales tax will be implemented.

The sales tax is the funding mechanism for countywide road improvements, including the widening of State Route 347. RTA-related propositions 416 and 417 were approved in November.

PRTA General Manager Andy Smith told board members Wednesday a response from ADOR is expected by Feb. 5.

A sticking point in the progress of RTA planning is a lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute in December challenging the validity of the half-cent sales tax. Goldwater’s attorneys claim Prop 417 exceeds the county authority by taxing only items below $10,000, “creating a new tax classification instead of a variable rate and violates the Equal Protection Clause by taxing transactions below an arbitrary threshold amount but not above that amount.”

The Goldwater Institute is suing Pinal County, PRTA and the Department of Revenue on behalf of two county residents and the Arizona Restaurant Association.

Smith said the respective attorneys “have been having conversations” to create briefs and establish “stipulated facts.”

The PRTA board has hopes for an April 1 implementation of the tax.

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, a member of the board, explained the challenges of SR 347, both geographically and politically. The main agencies involved in adding lanes to the highway are PRTA, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Gila River Indian Community and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG).

“It’s an incredibly complex road,” Price said. “It’s on Gila River land, it crosses county lines, it’s a state-owned road, it’s the city of Maricopa pushing for it.”

To prevent bottle-neck at the county line, “we need help on the Maricopa County side,” Price said. Maricopa leaders have been in discussions with MAG and Gila River for years. MAG specifically has discussed solutions for problems at interchanges at Riggs Road and old Maricopa Highway (Wild Horse Pass) and the possibility of using MC Prop 400 funds for improvements.

In the ongoing discussions, the sour relationship between Gila River and ADOT is “throwing things out of whack,” Price said. Gila River sued the state in 2015 over the South Mountain Freeway construction.

“MAG is conducting the scoping study, and we’ll kind of leave it in their hands because of the sensitivities,” Price said.

“Obviously, to come up with a fix for you all in Maricopa, that’s going to take Maricopa County to get involved,” county Supervisor Pete Rios said. He warned that often Native American communities are planning “seven generations down the road. We do need to be sensitive to where some of these tribes are coming from.”

Price said he has been working with Gila River Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis for two years. “We’re really trying to dance this dance of sensitivity,” he said.

The RTA plan is to provide $28.8 million over the next five years to fund additional lanes for nine miles of SR 347.

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City Councilmembers (from left) Nancy Smith, Henry Wade, Peggy Chapados, Mayor Christian Price, Vice Mayor Marvin Brown, Vincent Manfredi and Julia Gusse turn dirt for the formal groundbreaking ceremony Monday. Photo by Mason Callejas

An infrastructure project 15 years in the making finally broke ground Monday morning.

City officials broke ground for the overpass at State Route 347 and the Union Pacific Railroad crossing.

A who’s who of Maricopa leadership came out to a vacant lot on John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Road, property that will be beneath the future overpass, to witness the ceremonial launch of the historical event.

“When we’re here today on this momentous and historic day, it’s not because we just decided that yesterday we needed an overpass and we just finally got around to doing it,” said Mayor Christian Price speaking to a sizeable crowd. “It’s because it’s been in the works for 15 years.”

Along with city council members and staff, Price also reunited with the city’s former leaders to break ground on the State Route 347 overpass above the Union Pacific Rail Road crossing.

Former Mayors Edward Farrell, Kelly Anderson and Anthony Smith attended the groundbreaking.

Price honored his predecessors with a gift for their contributions to the overpass.

“I think this goes way, way back to probably August of 2003 when Mayor Farrell formed the committee to incorporate because if we hadn’t taken the step to incorporate we would not be here because we didn’t have the political clout to do this,”

Farrell is the first mayor of Maricopa. He led the once-small town toward cityhood over 15 years ago.

I think it’s awesome, as Kelly can agree with me because we were here from day one, and at day one that overpass was a priority. For the mayors that follow after us to take it where we left off – Mayor Smith starting it in 2008 – and Mayor Price to take it from third-base-to-home, he did an outstanding job. It’s a very special day,” Farrell said.

Smith, now a Pinal County supervisor said the overpass is one step in a long line of upcoming improvements to the 347.

“This is kind of a warm up for really where we are heading in the future, so I know it’s difficult, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Smith said.

City leaders braced residents to be patient with the project’s related traffic delays. Construction is slated to being by Nov. 25. Until then, Price said it’s time to celebrate.

“Congratulations, we’re getting an overpass,” he said.

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A freight train rolls across SR 347, delaying traffic in a familiar scene for Maricopans. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

A formal groundbreaking for the construction of an overpass on State Route 347 across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks will take place Nov. 20. A ceremony is set at 10 a.m. at the northeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Road.

Coming in more than $5 million under project estimates, Ames Construction was chosen as the general contractor to build the overpass and realign local streets. Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Hermann said the work will begin within 60 days of Ames being selected, which occurred Sept. 15.

Based in Scottsdale, Ames has 750 days to complete the project. Its winning bid was $23.1 million. The City of Maricopa is contributing almost $14 million to the project, which has a total estimate of $55 million.

The first construction is expected to take place away from the current roadway.

“The early stages of the project will mean few, if any, traffic restrictions,” Hermann said. “Most of the work will be done in the future path of SR 347, east of the current alignment. We recognize the importance of both SR 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, and we’ll work to keep any restrictions to a minimum.”

The project will create a six-lane overpass from Hathaway Avenue south to Desert Cedars Drive. It includes the realignment of Honeycutt Road, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Honeycutt Avenue.


A version of this story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

The overpass is tentatively scheduled to see the beginning of construction late this year.

Coming in more than $5 million under project estimates, Ames Construction was chosen as the general contractor to build an overpass across the Union Pacific tracks at State Route 347.

Based in Scottsdale, Ames has 750 days to complete the project. Its winning bid was $23.1 million.

The State Transportation Board selected the contractor at its Sept. 15 meeting in Tuba City. Because the bid was 18.5 percent under the department’s estimate of $28.3 million, it was pulled off the consent agenda for a full discussion before its approval.

Mayor Christian Price said a “very tentative” date of Nov. 20 has been scheduled for the formal groundbreaking, but those arrangements are still in flux.

Other companies that bid on the project were Pulice Construction, Haydon Building Corporation, J. Banicki Construction (all in Phoenix and all under the state’s estimate), Coffman Specialties of San Diego, which was about $300,000 over the estimate, and FNF Construction of Tempe, which was almost $1 million over the estimate.

The project will create a six-lane overpass from Hathaway Avenue south to Desert Cedars Drive. It includes the realignment of Honeycutt Road, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Honeycutt Avenue.

ADOT described the work as “constructing bridges, grading, aggregate base and asphaltic concrete, retaining walls, pipe culverts, curb and gutter, raised medians, sidewalks, and fencing. Additional work includes striping, signing, lighting, landscaping, traffic signals, and related work.”

Last year, Ames Construction completed the Hell Canyon Bridge on State Route 89 in Yavapai County. Ames is also working on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

The view north of John Wayne Parkway from Edison Road camera installed by ADOT.

Cameras the Arizona Department of Transportation uses to monitor State Route 347 traffic between the city of Maricopa and Interstate 10 now allow drivers to view conditions themselves via az511.gov.

Nine high-definition cameras mounted on traffic signals are available through the Arizona Traveler Information site, showing intersections from Riggs Road to the north to Farrell Road to the south.

“ADOT is always looking to improve traffic flow and safety,” ADOT traffic engineer Mark Poppe said. “Giving everyone access to the Maricopa cameras allows motorists to see traffic along SR 347 firsthand and make more-informed travel decisions.”

The SR 347 intersections are Riggs Road, Gravel Pit, Casa Blanca Road, Cobblestone North, Edison Road, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, Honeycutt Avenue, Alterra Parkway and Farrell Road. The Honeycutt Avenue camera currently shows on the map incorrectly located at Honeycutt Road.

In 2016, ADOT installed a wireless communication system that monitors conditions on SR 347 and allows technicians in Phoenix to adjust signal timing accordingly. The system includes a series of infrared and video cameras, and the latter are now available to the public online.

Besides showing road conditions, traffic cameras are used to quickly spot crashes, allowing first responders to respond faster and allocate appropriate resources. By doing this, secondary crashes are reduced, along with traffic congestion.

ADOT maintains more than 300 traffic cameras across the state.

SR 347 at Casa Blance
SR 347 at gravel pit

Transformation of the Maricopa skyline is beginning its early phases as demolition crews tear down three properties in the Heritage District this week.

First buildings torn down for overpass construction

  • 44600 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
  • 44302 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
  • 44617 W. Honeycutt Road

The work located along Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Honeycutt Road comes in preparation for construction of the SR 347/Union Pacific Railroad overpass that is slated to begin later this year.

Of the two residential properties on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway that were demolished, one was a structure used earlier in the year for Maricopa Police Department tactical training.

The third building, an equipment shed on Honeycutt Road, is also in the process of being torn down.

Workers are also removing foundations, fencing and vegetation at demolition sites.

Breinholt Contracting Company Inc. began demolition Wednesday and crews are expected to end the work July 12.

The Arizona Department of Transportation awarded the company $27,900 for the demolition, according to the Arizona State Transportation Board website.

ADOT went out to bid two weeks ago for the $37 million overpass construction, and will open the bids to candidate contractors Aug. 25. The full project, which includes realigning traffic flow on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Honeycutt Road, property purchase and demolition, is estimated to cost $55 million.

ADOT Spokesman Tom Herrmann said overpass construction will begin in the fall.

“It will probably be October that we’ll actually start work on the bridge itself,” Herrmann said, adding the dates of future demolition projects in the Heritage District are yet to be scheduled.


A utility company is being blamed for the traffic tie-ups in Maricopa this week.

While Arizona Department of Transportation has been working nights around the intersection of State Route 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in preparation for the overpass, some daytime work has caused a logjam for northbound drivers.

Southwest Gas is relocating a gas line in the area, also in preparation for the overpass.

“They received a permit for the work but did not have an approved traffic control plan,” ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said. “The city stopped the work until a traffic control plan is approved and the city has a chance to communicate that to the community.”

Northbound SR 347 was narrowed to one lane, though both southbound lanes were open. Even with a new traffic plan, Hermann said there will still likely be traffic issues during the day.

The ongoing closure of Farrell Road at Porter Road further exacerbated the problem, lengthening the alternate routes by several miles.

Mayor Christian Price stated in Facebook postings said the city had “all over” ADOT and SWG, “but again our power is pretty limited when it’s just in their hands and we’re not updated.”

When traffic is congested at SR 347 and MCG Highway and eastbound Farrell is closed, the long alternatives for northbound traffic are to drive south to Peters and Nall Road, east to White and Parker Road, and north to MCG Highway, or to drive west on Farrell Road to Ralston Road, north to State Route 238 and east to John Wayne Parkway.

Photo by Mason Callejas

The Maricopa Police Department conducted a training exercise Wednesday in one of the buildings slated to be demolished to make way for the coming overpass.

The home, formally owned by Rilla Gomez, was purchased by ADOT as part of the SR 347 overpass project and has since been used as a tactical training ground for the MPD.

This is the third time the department has conducted training at the condemned property which Chief Steve Stahl said has provided his officers an opportunity for more hands-on training.

“Very rarely will we do stuff like this,” Stahl said. “But you have to train to push the envelope so you know you’re capable when that time arrives.”

MPD often has an opportunity to train in newly constructed homes, giving officers a chance to learn floorplans and layouts. However, Stahl said, in a new home there are drawbacks to conducting exercises like this.

“You always have to be careful not to break things,” Stahl said. “Here we have the opportunity to press the envelope a little bit more.”

Not being concerned with delicacy, officers were able to train using live training ammunition and real light sound diversionary devices (LSDD), otherwise known as flashbangs.

Arizona Department of Transportation public information officer Tom Herrmann said this will likely be the last training exercise at this property as demolition will likely begin in the next few weeks.

Construction of the SR 347 overpass at the Union-Pacific Railroad crossing is set to begin in the fall.

MPD officers train for dangerous situations in a home set to be demolished in the Heritage District. The house was acquired by ADOT in preparation for construction of the overpass project. ADOT photo

While Lt. Mike Campbell hopes Maricopa Police Department officers never need to enter a home to remove a barricaded suspect, a partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation has helped them prepare, just in case.

With ADOT preparing to build a bridge carrying State Route 347 over the Union Pacific Railroad, officers have been able to train twice in a house acquired on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The home eventually will be demolished to make way for a new alignment of Plainview Street that will connect Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to Honeycutt Road and SR 347.

Campbell said the partnership ensures that the department’s Special Response Team has the opportunity to train for potentially life-or-death situations. That included practicing how to enter a home with a dangerous suspect inside, breaking down doors and methodically working their way through the building.

“There are very few opportunities for us to train for these rare but dangerous situations,” Campbell said. “Every time our officers can experience the challenges that come with entering a building in a hostile situation means we can do a better job if this kind of situation arises. This makes our officers better at their jobs and it makes Maricopa a safer place for our residents.”

ADOT photo

ADOT’s training collaborations like the one that took place this month in Maricopa date back to construction of State Route 51 in the early 1990s.

Just last summer, ADOT-acquired properties along the route of the South Mountain Freeway were used to train fire and law enforcement officers from more than a dozen agencies. That included SWAT teams using homes to practice responding to hostage situations and the Phoenix Fire Department, which trained 48 ladder companies and scores of new recruits.

ADOT works side-by-side with emergency responders every day, said Brian Rockwell, ADOT assistant chief right of way agent.

“Police officers willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect all of us in dangerous situations,” Rockwell said. “When we have the opportunity to help them train, as we did here, we’re not only happy to do that but we consider it part of our service to the community.”

Construction of the SR 347 bridge begins this fall. The two-year, $55 million project will carry traffic over the railroad tracks on a path just east of the current SR 347. It will alleviate congestion on a road that is expected to see traffic double to more than 60,000 vehicles a day by 2040 and save drivers the time of waiting for trains to cross the highway. The area now sees 40-60 trains a day, a number that is expected to reach 100 daily in the next 20 years.

ADOT photo

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

State Route 347 cannot be shut down during construction, and no property access can be cut off.

Arizona Department of Transportation hosted an informational meeting Wednesday to update residents on the upcoming overpass project. ADOT and consulting firm EPS answered concerns about the project itself and the impact of construction.

The project builds an overpass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at State Route 347. Construction is expected to begin in late fall.

Project engineer Elijah Williams, a familiar face at these meetings for years, is president of EPS, which was hired by ADOT to design the overpass. He presented the update to a packed board room at the Maricopa Unified School District.

Williams said EPS will recommend to the construction contractor the timeline for putting the project together. That involves not only the overpass but also new street alignments north and south of the railroad tracks. See ADOT 3D video models

“These bridges, they’re the things that take the longest to build. So they’re going to want to start on those early and not want to get into disrupting traffic for as long as they can avoid it,” Williams said.

Honeycutt Avenue, next to Maricopa High School, will be realigned, connecting with State Route 347 a little farther southeast than its current intersection. More extensively, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will be realigned to take traffic north to Honeycutt Road by utilizing a realigned Plainview Street next to MUSD’s district office and transportation department.

A traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Honeycutt Road and Plainview Street. The traffic signal currently at SR 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will be moved to SR 347 and Honeycutt Road.

Part of the current SR 347, where it passes long-time business like Headquarters and NAPA, will remain in place, passing under the new overpass, and become the access to eastbound Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

On SR 347 itself, there will be three lanes both directions between Edison Road and the current alignment at Desert Cedars/Alterra Parkway south of the First Baptist Church.

Though endangered in the early designs of the overpass, the church, Amtrak station and NAPA Auto Parts will not have to move.

The project is estimated to cost $55 million. Maricopa’s contribution to that is just short of $14 million. The city approved an intergovernmental agreement with ADOT on Tuesday for the construction of the overpass.

Bob Marsh, a resident of Desert Cedars, said when currently-empty, commercial property south of the tracks is finally developed, new access points may need to be cut into SR 347. Those vacant parcels will be on both sides of the alignment.

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The planned overpass will require the acquisition of private and public property in the Heritage District. ADOT photo

ADOT Makes an Offer

The Arizona Department of Transportation recently submitted offers to city officials to purchase four city-owned properties slated for demolition in preparation for the State Route 347 overpass. With the exception of one small segment of an MUSD parking lot, most city and county-owned properties have been offered between $16 and $18 a square foot, while privately owned properties could receive as little as $9 a square foot. These figures, according to ADOT documents, were the “result of a review and analysis of an appraisal made by a certified real estate appraiser.”


The ADOT offers are on the consent agenda at the regular meeting of the Maricopa City Council tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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The overpass is tentatively scheduled to see the beginning of construction late this year.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration


What: Informational Meeting about SR 347 Overpass
When: Wednesday, April 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Presentation will begin at 6 p.m.)
Where:  MUSD Board Room, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
Who: The public is invited

(FHWA), invites you to attend a public information meeting about the State Route 347 at Union Pacific Railroad project. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information and gather community input in advance of construction.

ADOT, FHWA and the City of Maricopa completed a study to evaluate alternatives and identify improvements to access, capacity and traffic operations on SR 347 at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks through 2040. The study evaluated a future grade separation (bridge) to replace the existing at-grade intersection of SR 347 and the UPRR track.

A total of 10 alternatives were considered for the project, with three of the 10 alternatives recommended for further evaluation. A public hearing was held on Dec. 3, 2014. Through an extensive evaluation process in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Alternative H was identified as the Selected Alternative. The Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were issued on March 18, 2015.

Alternative H was refined in early 2016 to identify further improvements to access, capacity, and traffic operations. The revisions to Alternative H and the associated impacts to businesses and residences were presented in a public information meeting held July 14, 2016. The revisions to Alternative H initiated the need for an EA Re-evaluation that was completed Dec. 6, 2016.

Final design has been ongoing and is scheduled to be completed summer 2017, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2017 and continue through late 2019.

The project team will be available to answer individual and property-specific questions at the public information meeting. Maps and displays will also be available for viewing. The meeting is in the board room of the district office of Maricopa Unified School District.

Prior to the public informational meeting, the project website at azdot.gov/347GS will be updated for your review.

For additional information, or to submit comments in writing, please contact ADOT Community Relations Project Manager Julian Avila by calling 602-320-7263, or emailing Javila@azdot.gov, or visit azdot.gov/347GS. If you have questions or comments, email projects@azdot.gov or call the ADOT Project Hotline at 855-712-8530.

Document summarizes comments from summer 2016 outreach

Over the past year, the Arizona Department of Transportation asked the public and agencies to share their ideas, comments and concerns about the Interstate 11 environmental study from Nogales to Wickenburg. A summary of comments is now available and will help ADOT select and evaluate corridor alternatives for further study.

The ultimate I-11 goal is to create a direct interstate link from Tucson and Phoenix metro areas to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Last summer, ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration held a 45-day scoping period as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process. ADOT received hundreds of comments from community members, tribal nations and agency representatives. The full Scoping Summary Report is now available in the Arizona section of i11study.com under the “Reports” tab.


Comments and other feedback on the I-11 studies from Maricopa officials came in the form of responses to letters of invitation from the Federal Highway Administration  to be involved and in-person conversations during public meetings.

Mayor Christian Price attended a June 8, 2016, ADOT meeting in Casa Grande, at which he emphasized the Pinal County I-11 Coalition. Communities involved have been considering possible route locations as I-11 passes through Pinal County, preferable south of Maricopa but in the city’s planning area.

City Manager Gregory Rose wrote that the I-11 corridor passing through Maricopa’s planning area “would be a tremendous benefit to our residents and property owners.”

Maricopa City Council passed a resolution Sept. 24, 2009, to support that alignment of I-11.

Ak-Chin Indian Community is also an active participant in the planning.

Scoping is an early and important step in the environmental review process. During scoping, the public and agencies have an opportunity to provide input, which helps determine the “scope” or range of issues to be addressed in the environmental document, also referred to as the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement.

During scoping, ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration hosted three agency meetings and six public meetings in seven locations throughout the corridor study area. Approximately 600 people attended the June 2016 meetings.

ADOT received comments from 74 agencies and tribal governments during the scoping period, and another 834 comments came in from the public. All comments received during the 45-day scoping period are included in the appendices of the Scoping Summary Report.

Agencies provided comments with similar themes about the proposed Interstate 11, including consideration of existing and proposed local and regional transportation plans; the need to study opportunities that foster economic development; and the importance of protecting environmentally sensitive resources. Some agencies stated that they prefer freeway alternatives that build upon and improve existing roadway infrastructure, while others said they favor building an entirely new interstate freeway.

The public had similar comments, along with many others. A majority of the public comments came through an online survey and comment form. Of those 657 responses, community members noted that a new freeway like Interstate 11 could address transportation concerns, such as relieving regional congestion, improving travel time and reliability, improving freight travel and reliability, and reducing bottlenecks on existing freeways. Survey results and other comments can be found within the Scoping Summary Report and on the I-11 blog:  i11study.com/Arizona/blog.asp.

All feedback received during the scoping process is being used by ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration as the two agencies identify potential Interstate 11 alternatives to be studied, impacts to be considered and evaluation methods to be used during the development of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement.

In addition to the formal scoping period, ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration have spent a lot of time during the past year meeting and talking with the public, agencies, local and tribal governments, and partners about the ongoing Interstate 11 environmental study. Each discussion is an opportunity to hear what people have to say about the proposed interstate freeway that would run border-to-border throughout Arizona.

The next round of public involvement opportunities will take place in 2017, when ADOT presents a reasonable range of alternatives to be further studied. An evaluation of a “no-build” alternative, in which Interstate 11 would not be built, will also be considered.

For more information about the Interstate 11 environmental study and to subscribe for updates, visit i11study.com.

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Are you hitting the Arizona highways today? Stay up with the forecast.

The latest National Weather Service forecast for Arizona’s high country calls for between 6 and 12 inches of snow at elevations between 6,000 and 8,000 feet beginning late Saturday morning and continuing into Saturday evening. Windblown snow is expected to create hazardous driving conditions in areas.

For lower elevations, the latest forecast calls for rain and gusting wind during the same period.

ADOT has nearly 200 snowplows and 400 certified snowplow operators ready to clear highways around the state, but if snowfall is heavy and widespread it may take some time for them to reach every stretch.

You hold the keys to safety if your route may have snow and ice. These are just some of the winter-driving tips available at azdot.gov/KnowSnow.

•    Slow down: Adjust your speed to conditions.
•    Create space: Leave extra room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Avoid sudden braking.
•    Give snowplows room: Slow down and stay at least four vehicle lengths behind a plow. Wait for a plow to pull over before passing, and remember: The safest place to be when there’s snow and ice on a road is behind a plow.
•    Leave prepared: Bring extra clothing and gloves, make sure your tank is half to three-quarters full at all times, keep your cellphone charged and pack extra drinking water, snacks and all necessary medications.
•    Pack an emergency kit: It should include blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a container of sand or cat litter for traction and warning lights or reflectors.
•    Beware of black ice: Melting snow can turn into ice, especially at night. Ice tends to form on bridges first and can be difficult to see.
•    Consider waiting it out: Highways can close suddenly in severe weather due to accumulating snow and ice or due to crashes. If conditions warrant, delaying travel may be the safest decision.

Many of these tips apply to driving on wet roads as well, including waiting out threatening weather if need be. Here are some others:

•    Inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.
•    Turn on headlights while driving.
•    Avoid areas where water is pooling in travel lanes.

Wherever your travels take you this holiday weekend, you can get the latest highway conditions by calling 511 or visiting the Arizona Traveler Information site, where traffic and weather cameras allow you to see current conditions around the state. ADOT’s Facebook and Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) accounts are excellent sources of information and interaction.