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<strong><a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/road-gator.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/road-gator.jpg?sfvrsn=0&amp;MaxWidth=550&amp;MaxHeight=&amp;ScaleUp=false&amp;Quality=High&amp;Method=ResizeFitToAreaArguments&amp;Signature=FB01B37A7D77814252FD0C0A25627F52" data-method="ResizeFitToAreaArguments" data-customsizemethodproperties="{&quot;MaxWidth&quot;:&quot;550&quot;,&quot;MaxHeight&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;ScaleUp&quot;:false,&quot;Quality&quot;:&quot;High&quot;}" data-displaymode="Custom" alt="Road-gator" title="Road-gator" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true" style="vertical-align: middle;"></a><br><br>By David Rookhuyzen / <em>ADOT Communications<br><br></em></strong>You've probably seen them as you drive, lurking along roadways or basking in the Arizona sun. Maybe you've seen Department of Public Safety troopers having to remove them from the road.<br><br>These are "gators," but not the kind you'd see in Florida. Road gators are the tire treads that wind up on roadways following a tire blowout. The amount of tire debris we see on the highway goes up as hotter weather sets in. In fact, these photos are from a recent trip to one of our Valley maintenance yards.<br><br><a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/secure-your-load-freeway-debris_053019_34.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/secure-your-load-freeway-debris_053019_34.tmb-mediumwide.jpg?sfvrsn=1" data-displaymode="Thumbnail" alt="Secure Your Load-Freeway Debris_053019_34" title="Secure Your Load-Freeway Debris_053019_34" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px;"></a>While road gators don't have up to 80 teeth or a bite that can snap with more than 2,000 pounds per square inch, they can be every bit as dangerous to drivers if they end up in the travel lanes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 700 people die every year in tire-related crashes.<br><br>Fortunately, there is something you can do to help keep gators off the road: Check your tires regularly.<br><br>Making sure your tires are not under- or overinflated can reduce the risk of blowouts. Also make sure that a vehicle's tires are properly maintained and rotated. Finally, checking a tire's tread and replacing it when it is too worn decreases the chance of a blowout.<br><br><a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/secure-your-load-freeway-debris_053019_36.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/secure-your-load-freeway-debris_053019_36.tmb-mediumwide.jpg?sfvrsn=1" data-displaymode="Thumbnail" alt="Secure Your Load-Freeway Debris_053019_36" title="Secure Your Load-Freeway Debris_053019_36" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px;"></a>Staying alert and being prepared for possible road hazards is essential. While DPS troopers often take on the potentially dangerous task of tossing road gators out of travel lanes and onto highway shoulders, ADOT crews do spot pickups of&nbsp;debris along busy Phoenix-area freeway shoulders and state highways throughout the year. Our sweeping contractors do regular weekly collection of larger debris items along Valley freeways, but as you can imagine it's impossible to immediately catch everything along the more than 6,300 miles of state highways.&nbsp;<br><br><a href="https://azdot.gov/media/blog/posts/2019/06/06/see-road-debris-don-t-@-us-call-911">As we said in a recent post</a>, if a driver sees tire debris on the roadway, their first call should be to 911 to have it removed as soon as possible.<br>
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<img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/far-west-projects/untitled-14fc2e078c8006c57b531ff0000a35efc.jpg?sfvrsn=0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Untitled-1" title="Untitled-1"><br><strong><br>By John Halikowski / <em>ADOT Director</em></strong><br><br>We've revealed the winners in ADOT’s third annual Safety Message Contest. Three years we’ve been running this engaging contest.<br><br>That’s 21 dog years.<br><br>What?<br><br>I make that connection because one of the winning messages relates to man’s best friend. Submitted by Mitzie Warner of Chandler, the safety message “Drive like the person your dog thinks you are,” received about a third of the 5,000 votes cast, burying the other 14 finalists like a favorite bone.<p><br>Though I’m a cat owner – lovable Mr. Squeakers has been part of our family for 11 years – I understand the desire to live up to being the purr-fect people our pets believe us to be. Making safe and smart decisions behind the wheel, like choosing not to drive recklessly, distracted or impaired, is a great start.<br><br>The other winning message, submitted by David Posey of San Tan Valley, was a clever play on words: “Drink and drive? Meet police and see new bars.” Both winning messages will be displayed on overhead messages this weekend statewide.<br><br>Drive safely on the roads this week. Make your dog proud. <br><br> </p><hr> <br> <strong><em><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/far-west-projects/1b5eb6c5f48be78c8006c57b531ff0000a35efc.tmb-thumbnail.jpg?sfvrsn=2" displaymode="Thumbnail" alt="1b5eb6c" title="1b5eb6c" style="float: left;"><br> <br> &nbsp; &nbsp;This post originally appeared on ADOT Director John Halikowski's&nbsp;<br> &nbsp; &nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-halikowski-52250027">LinkedIn page</a>. He has led the agency since 2009.</em></strong><br> <br>
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<p><strong><a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/c2659e078c8006c57b531ff0000a35efc.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/c2659e078c8006c57b531ff0000a35efc.jpg?sfvrsn=0&amp;MaxWidth=550&amp;MaxHeight=&amp;ScaleUp=false&amp;Quality=High&amp;Method=ResizeFitToAreaArguments&amp;Signature=84DF8764A4FE1D302BA44578F8ADC133" data-method="ResizeFitToAreaArguments" data-customsizemethodproperties="{&quot;MaxWidth&quot;:&quot;550&quot;,&quot;MaxHeight&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;ScaleUp&quot;:false,&quot;Quality&quot;:&quot;High&quot;}" data-displaymode="Custom" alt="c" title="c" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true" style="vertical-align: middle;"></a><br><br>By Dallas Hammit / <em>Deputy Director for Transportation</em></strong><br><br> I frequently discuss ways we can all be safer behind the wheel, but today I want to focus on something you should do before you even get in the driver’s seat: Secure your load.<br><br> We’ve all seen those vehicles on the highway – the ones that are overloaded and almost overflowing with things. It could be mattresses or heavy equipment or even personal items being moved across town. Whatever it is, if it’s not secured it poses a real danger to everyone on the road.<br><br> Across the country, about 51,000 debris-related crashes occur each year, resulting in 10,000 injuries. In Arizona alone, there were more than 800 debris related crashes in 2017, resulting in one fatality.<br> <br> Items that end up on the road don’t just put motorists at risk. Law enforcement officers and ADOT employees are put in the dangerous position of having to clear the road of the debris.<br><br> You can easily contribute to a safer commute for everyone if you secure your load. Tie-downs, netting, bungee cords, ropes, straps and tarps all can keep your belongings in your vehicle and off the road, making travel safer for everyone.<br><br> Here are some good tips from <a href="http://donttrashaz.com/Secure-Your-Load">Don’t Trash Arizona</a>:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Large or heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. Tie large items directly to your vehicle. Tied down materials must be able to withstand wind up to 70 miles per hour on the highway. At that speed, the wind is providing about a 20-pound-per-square-foot push, which can dislodge those loads and push them off your vehicle. Do not use restraints if they are frayed, cut, or damaged.</li> <li>For loose, lighter items such as tree clippings, a sturdy plastic or canvas tarp or netting can be used to keep items in place. Tie the tarp securely or it might become road debris as well.</li> <li>Put lighter weight things at the bottom of the load and make sure they are secure. Evenly distribute the load to prevent it from sliding.</li> <li>Keep materials level with truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted or under a tarp.</li> <li>Double-check your load to make sure it is secure at the back and on the sides and top. Remember that loads can move and settle during a journey, allowing restraints to loosen. If possible, recheck restraints shortly after beginning your trip.</li> <li>Ensure both the vehicle and trailer are in good mechanical condition and roadworthy. Check that your vehicle is rated to tow the load. Remember that your load will make your vehicle less maneuverable and it will take longer to stop.</li> <li>Ask yourself:&nbsp;Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle? Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle? What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?</li></ul> <p>Another thing to remember is that if you see road debris, treat it as the danger it is <strong>call 911</strong>.<br><br> Posting a photo to social media can’t guarantee a timely response, even if you tag ADOT and DPS. Calling 911 helps to ensure the dangerous items will quickly and safely be removed.</p>
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<a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/sr-88.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img title="SR 88" style="margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" alt="SR 88" src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/sr-88.jpg?sfvrsn=0" data-displaymode="Original" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true"></a><br><strong>By David Rookhuyzen / <em>ADOT Communications</em></strong> <br><br>For many, State Route 88 is a way to&nbsp;get out of the Valley and enjoy at day at Canyon Lake. For some, it's a winding route to adventure. <br><br>This curving route, also known as Apache Trail, hides an impressive story and is designated as a <a href="https://www.azdot.gov/about/historic-roads/list-of-historic-roads/globe">historic road</a>. It was one of the original 10 state highways and played a vital role in the completion of Roosevelt Dam and, with it, making it possible for the Phoenix area to grow.<br><br>At the turn of the 20th century, Valley residents were looking to better harness the Salt River and cut down on flooding. Some lobbying to Congress resulted in the decision to build a dam at the river’s confluence with Tonto Creek northeast of Mesa.<br><br>SR 88 was blazed in 1904 to help carry workers and 1.5 million pounds of freight from Mesa up to the future Roosevelt Dam, which was completed in 1911. The initial cost was a little over a half a million dollars. The road would be partially rerouted a decade later when the Mormon Flat Dam was completed in 1925, forming Canyon Lake. The highway came under the auspices of the Arizona State Highway Department in 1927 and was declared an Arizona Historic Road in 1987.<br><br>The highway is still an important route for travelers, which is why last year <a href="https://azdot.gov/media/News/news-release/2018/11/19/sr-88-(apache-trail)-improvement-project-completed">we spent $6.5 million on a project to improve the road</a>. You can see the results in the video below. <br><br>So whether you just want to get to Canyon Lake or see a piece of Arizona history, SR 88 is waiting for you.<br><br><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAZDOT%2Fvideos%2F358369528270072%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="314" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe>
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<style>.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }</style><div class="embed-container"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uJ3h0pP5sYM" frameborder="0"></iframe></div><br><strong>By David Rookhuyzen / <em>ADOT Communications</em></strong><br><br> The state budget approved by state lawmakers and signed by Governor Doug Ducey <a href="https://azdot.gov/media/News/news-release/2019/05/31/state-budget-provides-funding-for-full-i-17-widening-project-north-of-valley">provides a $130 million needed to complete widening I-17 north of Anthem</a>, in addition to where the flex lanes have already been planned between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point.<br><br> ADOT has been working to advance projects to improve traffic flow and safety along 23 miles of I-17 between Anthem and Sunset Point north of Phoenix. More than $190 million was already committed to building flex lanes north of Black Canyon City as well as adding 7 miles of a third southbound lane directly south of that project.<br><br> Investing an additional $130 million over three years will allow ADOT to complete all sections of new third lanes between Anthem and Black Canyon City. Combined with the flex lanes, this increased capacity will enhance safety and help address traffic flow challenges and backups that occur due to crashes and when many drivers are traveling to or from Arizona’s high country on summer weekends.<br><br> You can see a visualization of the project and how the flex lanes will operate in the video above.
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<style>.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }</style><div class="embed-container"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qtVt__sqI0o" frameborder="0"></iframe></div><br><strong>By John Halikowski / <em>ADOT Director</em></strong><br><br>To paraphrase a popular song from 1973 by The Platters, don’t let dust get in your eyes. It is that time of year when we Arizonans brace for our monsoon storms. These storms bring awesome lightning shows, but also winds that can kick up dust from the desert floor and blanket an area so thick, you can’t see in front of you. I would like to remind everyone, residents and visitors, that it is incredibly dangerous to drive into a dust storm.<br><br> At ADOT, we have&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE4809662D164DDF2" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list%3DPLE4809662D164DDF2&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1560106804280000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGyeiJDWXJGGyw61ilyaQWzt7nHTA">photos and videos</a>&nbsp;showing the gritty and grisly aftermath of collisions that occurred in dust storms. Our award-winning safety campaign, “<a href="https://focusondriving.com/dust-storms" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://focusondriving.com/dust-storms&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1560106804280000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHFeUzuDyPnlGKoQumnGkdY_pfsRg">Pull Aside, Stay Alive</a>,” reminds motorists how they can stay safe if they get caught in a dust storm. The most important thing: Never drive into a dust storm.<br><br> I would also encourage you to share these important safety tips with family and friends who are planning to visit our great state this summer. You can also share our&nbsp;<a href="https://focusondriving.com/" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://focusondriving.com/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1560106804280000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFI9ykNe-6I3lsUHAXtaM04Psv2Pw">FocusOnDriving.com</a>&nbsp;website for other helpful driving tips that will ensure your family and friends stay safe on our roadways.<br><br> Whether you like listening to “Dust in the Wind” by the band Kansas or “Sandstorm” by Darude, it’s important to be prepared and to drive safely this summer and avoid driving through dust storms. You can even stream the&nbsp;<a href="https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0kNtWcCKc1lMSDBL6U7XU2" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0kNtWcCKc1lMSDBL6U7XU2&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1560106804280000&amp;usg=AFQjCNF-xcUtL56_ZhLIpQDdSMeHiIk0gA">Dust Storm Playlist</a>&nbsp;we created on Spotify as you travel this summer.<br><br> <hr> <br> <strong><em><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/far-west-projects/1b5eb6c5f48be78c8006c57b531ff0000a35efc.tmb-thumbnail.jpg?sfvrsn=2" displaymode="Thumbnail" alt="1b5eb6c" title="1b5eb6c" style="float: left;"><br> <br> &nbsp; &nbsp;This post originally appeared on ADOT Director John Halikowski's&nbsp;<br> &nbsp; &nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-halikowski-52250027">LinkedIn page</a>. He has led the agency since 2009.</em></strong><br> <br>
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<a href="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/adopt-a-highway-1.jpg?sfvrsn=0"><img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/azdot-blog/adopt-a-highway-1.jpg?sfvrsn=0&amp;MaxWidth=550&amp;MaxHeight=&amp;ScaleUp=false&amp;Quality=High&amp;Method=ResizeFitToAreaArguments&amp;Signature=58D0B760EF204DB241E3631D9D70542F" data-method="ResizeFitToAreaArguments" data-customsizemethodproperties="{&quot;MaxWidth&quot;:&quot;550&quot;,&quot;MaxHeight&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;ScaleUp&quot;:false,&quot;Quality&quot;:&quot;High&quot;}" data-displaymode="Custom" alt="Adopt a Highway 1" title="Adopt a Highway 1" data-openoriginalimageonclick="true" style="vertical-align: middle;"></a><br><br><strong>By Caroline Carpenter /&nbsp;<em>ADOT Communications</em></strong>&nbsp;<br><br>With Father’s Day around the corner, many are searching for that perfect gift, while some are remembering a father who has passed away. If you’re looking for a unique way to honor a family member and do something for your community, adopting a highway might be right for you. <br><br> For the past 17 years the Schlecht family has been cleaning up a stretch of State Route 72 in La Paz County. They began participating in <a href="http://azdot.gov/aah">ADOT's&nbsp;Adopt a Highway program</a> in 2002 after Tom, the youngest of 10, passed away from cancer. When their parents, Don and Phyllis Schlecht, died, the sign dedication was changed to “Dad, Mom &amp; Brother Tom.” <br><br> The Schlecht family grew up together in North Dakota. Now they gather several times each year to pick up litter along their 2-mile segment south of Parker, near the State Route 95 junction. The photo above shows the five Schlecht brothers next to their family's Adopt a Highway sign. The family tells us the process has evolved over the years and often includes more than just immediate family members. Friends and former classmates from North Dakota have joined in. <br><br> Pat Schlecht says their parents taught them about the value of hard work and to care about the environment. According to Pat, “I know that Mom, Dad and Tom would be proud that we continue to gather and share with each other memories and stories from home as we work alongside each other. More people should get involved in this process, as it is easy to do, does not require much expenditure and the return is many fold.”<br><br> Whether you’re looking to remember a cherished family member or want to honor a veteran who has served our country, adopting a highway in the name of your loved one can be a way to remember them and improve your community. There are currently more than 400 Adopt a Highway memorial segments across the state. Visit the ADOT website to learn more about the <a href="http://https://www.azdot.gov/business/programs-and-partnerships/AdoptaHighway/overview">Adopt a Highway</a> program. An <a href="https://adot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=69074b6e643c46c4a6a7964703e7e923">interactive map</a> will show you which highway segments are available to adopt.
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<img src="http://www.azdot.gov/images/default-source/far-west-projects/djfbhdquiaab1vn.jpg?sfvrsn=0&amp;MaxWidth=550&amp;MaxHeight=&amp;ScaleUp=false&amp;Quality=High&amp;Method=ResizeFitToAreaArguments&amp;Signature=CE72110F855EA1B258EBB20767F99B32" data-method="ResizeFitToAreaArguments" data-customsizemethodproperties="{&quot;MaxWidth&quot;:&quot;550&quot;,&quot;MaxHeight&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;ScaleUp&quot;:false,&quot;Quality&quot;:&quot;High&quot;}" data-displaymode="Custom" alt="DJfBhDQUIAAb1vn" title="DJfBhDQUIAAb1vn"><br><br><strong>By Mary Currie / <em>ADOT Adopt a Highway</em><br></strong><br>One day last week while stopped at traffic signal, I watched a purple PT Cruiser drive from the opposite direction, take the left-turn signal and drive through the intersection past my car. Nothing unusual in that – except for the brown leather sofa attached to the roof by two pieces of twine.<br><br>“Awkward” and “OMG” were two thoughts that popped into my head. Too often, ADOT's Twitter account alerts the public to sofas on freeways, including the one shown above, and no doubt many of those dangerous incidents begin with the poor planning this driver demonstrated.&nbsp;<br><br>As the car lumbered around the corner, I watched the sofa shift slightly. Realizing that I was holding my breath, I exhaled as I watched the vehicle drive onward with the load still intact. Barely.<br><br>If this was you, I want you to know that the commuters on either side of me were left breathless too. Automobile roofs are not meant to secure furniture, and you were gambling your safety and the safety of others in expecting that sofa to make it to your destination.<br><br>A sofa launching into an intersection or falling where a trailing vehicle might hit it can lead to serious injuries – or worse – for other drivers and pedestrians.&nbsp;<br><br>Spring and summer are busy moving times for college students and families. The stuff people tote around during these moves is important. So beg or borrow a truck, or dig lost change out of that sofa and rent a truck. Then securely tie down your items.&nbsp;<br><br>Yesterday was Arizona <a href="https://azdot.gov/media/blog/posts/2017/06/06/secure-your-load-to-help-save-lives">Secure Your Load Day</a>, when ADOT reminds you that debris on freeways causes 51,000 accidents in the U.S. every year, injuring nearly 10,000.&nbsp;<br><br>Please be a responsible mover. We want you to make it to your destination safely so you can enjoy the important stuff in life, including that large leather sofa I last saw precariously perched atop a PT Cruiser heading into the distance.<br><br><hr><br><em>EDITOR'S NOTE: The author oversees <a href="http://azdot.gov/aah">ADOT Adopt a Highway</a> programs.</em>
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