While the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says that there will be no full weekend construction or maintenance closures scheduled along state highways during the extended holiday weekend, it reminds drivers planning road trips over the Fourth of July weekend to stay alert and focus on safety. ADOT and Department of Public Safety, along with other emergency agencies, encourage motorists to check their vehicles, pack their patience and avoid impaired driving of any kind.
ADOT and its contractors will hold off on any full highway closures from Friday morning, June 30, until Wednesday morning, July 5. Drivers should still allow extra travel time and be prepared for lane restrictions in some existing work zones. For example, southbound I-17 is narrowed to one lane in areas along the 30-mile-stretch south of Flagstaff for an ongoing pavement improvement project. Delays should be expected during peak travel times over the holiday weekend.
Motorists planning road trips over the Independence Day weekend should prepare ahead of time for hot and potentially stormy weather in areas. Drivers also should stay alert and bring along essential items in case of an unscheduled stop in traffic. ADOT’s holiday weekend safe driving recommendations include:
- Never drive while impaired. Buckle up and obey speed limits.
- Arrange for a designated driver or ride service if necessary.
- Check your vehicle, including tire pressure.
- An emergency prep kit for your vehicle can include extra drinking water and other items such as blankets, a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, a fully charged cellphone and charger, snacks and a small tool kit.
- Get some rest before traveling. Fatigue is a serious safety risk.
- Avoid distractions. Don’t text while driving.
- Don’t park in areas with grasses and brush. Hot vehicle components could start a fire.
- Don’t let trailer chains drag along the pavement. Sparks could ignite a wildfire.
Since travel delays over the weekend are possible, don’t forget other important items such as prescription medicines. A hat, sunglasses and umbrella — to help with rain or provide shade — also are good items to remember as the annual summer travel season heats up.