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Driving in Arizona
Driving in Arizona is no different than driving in any other state. Be sure to wear your seatbelt and follow the traffic signs. To ensure your safety, be aware of the following information:
511 Traveler Information Service
For up-to-date information regarding the status of seasonal wildfires, visit The Wildfire Incident Information System, InciWeb, at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/3/
The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin making improvements to SR 89A located through the Oak Creek Canyon switchbacks within the Coconino National Forest in summer 2014.
The work will include milling the existing asphalt and repaving from milepost 386.60 to 390.07, replacing and improving guardrail, repairing the Pumphouse Wash bridge deck and "rock scaling," or rock-fall mitigation.
What to Expect
To complete the work in a safe and timely manner, SR 89A will be closed up to five weeks to all traffic, except emergency vehicles, between Pine Flat Campground and Oak Creek Vista overlook between Memorial Day and July 4, 2014.
In addition to the full closure, there will be other lane restrictions needed, including single-lane closures for work the entire time of the project.
A single-lane restriction will be maintained at either end of the full closure to allow access to both the Pine Flats Campground on the southern end and the Oak Creek Vista overlook at the northern end. Drivers must turn around at the closure points (either the campground or the overlook) at either end. DPS will be on-site.
Emergency vehicles will have access through the work zone to reach residential, recreational and business areas.
Signage and message boards will be used in advance of the closure to ensure traffic is properly detoured via State Route 179 to Interstate 17. More information is available at http://azdot.gov/projects/north-central/sr-89a-improvements/overview.
The US 89 bypass is now fully open with no restrictions. The 44-mile-long US 89T route runs parallel to US 89 from The Gap to LeChee and is accessible from US 89, approximately 17 miles north of the US 160 junction (Tuba City exit). Previously a Navajo Nation roadway, US 89T will be maintained by ADOT while it is in use as a detour.
The US 89T project became necessary after a Feb. 20 landslide closed a section of US 89 between Bitter Springs and Page. Prior to paving US 89T, drivers headed to and from Page were forced to take a 115-mile-long alternate route along US 160 and State Route 98.
When traveling on US 89T, ADOT urges motorists to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings and be aware that this roadway on the Navajo Nation is prone to animal crossings, including horses, goats, cows and dogs.
ADOT has a range of communication tools, including a Web page (www.azdot.gov/us89) dedicated to keeping the public informed about the status of the closure and alternate travel routes, including US 89T, complemented by up-to-date video and photos of the roadway damage on US 89.
Traveling in Arizona is as easy as calling 5-1-1! Get the latest information on:
- Road conditions
- Public transit services
- Major airports
- Tourism, including State and National Park information
This free service is offered 24/7 by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), who remind you to buckle up and drive safely. Within Arizona, dial 511. Outside Arizona, dial direct (602) 523-0244, or toll-free (888) 411-ROAD (7623). Thanks to a partnership between ADOT, the Arizona Office of Tourism, the U.S. Park Service, and Arizona State Parks, the 5-1-1 system includes information on 52 state and national parks in the Grand Canyon state.
For more information, visit the AZ 511 website.
Driving in Dust Storms & Monsoon Season
Dust storms are caused by high winds sweeping across fields or dry desert terrain, sometimes blowing dust onto nearby highways. Although usually brief, dust storms should be taken seriously because they can quickly decrease visibility. While most people associate Arizona with the desert, the state also experiences occasional heavy rainstorms, particularly during the summer monsoon season.
If you find yourself driving during a dust or monsoon storm, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Turn on your headlights and slow down!
- If you can safely avoid it, do not enter a dust storm.
- If your visibility is impeded by heavy rain or dust, slowly pull off to the side of the road as far to the right as possible. Turn off the car and headlights, set the parking brake and keep your foot off the brake pedal.
- Pay attention to hazard signs and roadblocks. If you see a sign that says "Do Not Cross When Flooded," take it seriously and find another way.
Don’t cross rain-swollen washes. You could get caught in a flash flood.
For More Information
Learn more about safe driving in Arizona at these sites: