Friday, December 3, 2010
ADOT travel alert for the high country
PHOENIX—As the snow begins to fall around Arizona and the winter driving season begins, the Arizona Department of Transportation is closing a few roadways in the higher elevations. These closures take effect every year due to the large accumulations of snow and ice on the highways—roads that see very little traffic.
ADOT has closed State Route 473 to Hawley Lake for the winter. State Route 261 between State Route 260 and Big Lake and State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake will both be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 15. All three highways are located northeast of Show Low in the White Mountains, near Sunrise Park Resort. These annual closures do not affect access to Sunrise.
Also closed for the winter is State Route 67 between Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
ADOT closes these highways each winter and reopens them in the spring, usually by mid-May. However, there is the potential for temporary unscheduled highway closures due to severe winter weather, large accumulations of snow and ice, or unsafe driving conditions.
ADOT reminds motorists to drive with caution this winter and offers these tips:
•Slow down. Drive defensively. Be patient and allow additional time for your trip.
•Carry snow chains or cables, in case highways are snow-packed an d icy. Also be sure to pack an emergency kit in your car that includes a fully charged cell phone, extra food and water, blankets, a flashlight, extra batteries, a shovel, an ice scraper, and sand for traction.
•Leave sufficient space between your vehicle and others. Give yourself plenty of room and time to stop to avoid upcoming hazards.
•If stopped on the roadway, leave room for emergency vehicles to get around you.
•Don’t follow snowplows too closely, and do not pass them.
•Make sure your vehicle has plenty of fuel and pack extra clothing for winter weather. If you slide off the roadway, stay with your vehicle. ADOT or the Arizona Department of Public Safety will respond.
•Check weather and road conditions before you leave. Let someone know your route.
More travel tips and information can be found on ADOT’s “Know Snow” website at www.azdot.gov/KnowSnow. The website also contains downloadable snow maps of snowplowing schedules and routes.
Before heading out on the roads, drivers are encouraged to call 5-1-1 or log on to ADOT’s Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov for the latest highway conditions around the state. The website features images along state highways that give drivers a glimpse of weather conditions in various regions.