Saturday, August 17, 2013

We're moving...

Starting today, you can find the ADOT Blog at its new
home on www.azdot.gov/blog
The ADOT Blog is making a big move today. But don’t worry, we aren’t going too far (and we won’t ask you to help us unpack!) … we’re just headed to a brand new Web address.

Starting this morning, you’ll be able to find the ADOT Blog at www.azdot.gov/blog.

We invite you to go check out our new digs and see how the entire ADOT website has been redesigned with you in mind.

That’s right, after receiving a lot of feedback and putting in many (many) hours, ADOT’s Web Team has created a new site that’s organized to help you discover exactly what you need.

Whether you’re looking for MVD locations, the latest on a project, information on doing business with ADOT or the latest news, you’ll find it all on the new site – it’s just been arranged a little differently in an effort to make your experience better.

So, go visit ADOT’s new space – the address remains www.azdot.gov – and be sure to let us know what you think.

P.S. This blog (the one you’re reading right now), will not be updated from here on out and the commenting feature has permanently been closed. Every ADOT Blog post is available on the new blog.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Work on N20 isn't finished yet



We know many of you are eager for construction on N20 to finish and we want to let you know that we hear you and understand just how ready you are for this roadway to open!

While work on the route isn’t done yet, we hope you can be patient for a little bit longer and know that ADOT is taking ALL the steps necessary to ensure that N20 (also known as US 89T) is a safe roadway that motorists will be able to use for years to come.

There are a number of things that must be completed before ADOT can open the road to traffic.

Paving is only one part of the project – prior to opening any new state highway, proper signage, right-of-way fencing and other safety measures are necessary to ensure a safe roadway. N20 also needs cattle guards, swing gates and centerline rumble strips (as you can see in the video above, the large number of animals in the area means fencing is vital on this project. Crews are working now to install fencing along the route to keep livestock off the road).

The good news is that ADOT is still on track to complete the project prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend. We don’t have an exact date yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll let you know about it here on the blog and on azdot.gov/US89.

For now, we want to reiterate that N20 is still closed and is an active construction zone, particularly in these last couple of weeks as crews put the finishing touches on the project.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Many details get considered during project construction

A water source for the SR 24 project.
What we’ve got for you today isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but we think you’ll find it kind of interesting…

See the pond in the photo at right? It’s actually a water source being used on the SR 24 project in east Mesa (we’ve blogged before about how crucial water is on a construction site – it helps with dust control and compaction). 

Look a little closer and you’ll see a grid made of ropes.

Wonder why it’s there? We did, so we asked the project’s resident engineer and learned that the rope grid was placed in the pond for no other reason except to keep the birds away (by the way, ADOT’s resident engineers oversee projects and ensure that everything is built according to the construction contract and ADOT’s requirements).

Birds are not typically a top priority on most ADOT projects, but the SR 24 site happens to be near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Since birds and airplanes really don’t mix, the goal was to NOT invite big flocks that potentially could interfere with airport operations. Birds (rather, the desire to not attract birds) also factored into the landscape design on SR 143 near the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

We told you it wasn’t earth-shattering, but it’s these types of unusual factoids that we find fascinating because they go to show just how much has to be considered on an ADOT project.

Stay tuned … we’ll be on the lookout for more to share with you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Modernized Cordes Junction traffic interchange aids local, regional travel

Before and After: Above, a 1960s aerial shot of
the interchange. Below, a more recent photo of
the improved Cordes Junction traffic interchange.
By Dustin Krugel
ADOT Office of Public Information

A regular destination for drivers headed to the Flagstaff or Prescott areas, the junction of Interstate 17 and State Route 69 has been described as the “gateway to northern Arizona,” but in recent years the outdated Cordes Junction traffic interchange had started to show its age.

Built in the early 1960s, the Cordes Junction traffic interchange carried far more traffic than it was designed to accommodate. With traffic volumes expected to double in the coming decades, the Arizona Department of Transportation began a task in the summer of 2011 to redesign and rebuild the busy interchange, which is located approximately 65 miles north of downtown Phoenix, with minimal disruption to traffic.

The solution was a $50.9 million project that would transform the outdated intersection design that forced slower local traffic to mix with high-speed highway traffic, causing congestion and safety concerns. Two years after construction started, ADOT has completed the project on budget and on time. The final piece of the project will include permanent lane striping, which will be completed in the weeks ahead.

“There was a huge need for this project and it was eagerly anticipated by members of the community,” said ADOT Prescott District Engineer Alvin Stump. “Thousands of visitors, truck drivers and business travelers use I-17 and SR 69 en route to other destinations in Arizona and neighboring states.

“Plus, the Cordes Junction interchange provides access for numerous tourist attractions and recreational areas locally, not to mention that many travelers use services at the Cordes Junction interchange because of its central location between Flagstaff and Phoenix,” Stump said.

Friday, August 9, 2013

ADOT receives award for innovation in Nogales Port of Entry project

A look at the upgraded port of entry.
We have some great news to share!

America's Transportation Awards presented a Best Use of Innovation award to ADOT for the Nogales Mariposa Port of Entry project completed in summer 2012.

ADOT received the award during a presentation at the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual meeting on Aug. 5 in San Francisco.

By the way, the America's Transportation Awards competition is co-sponsored by AAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). It was launched in 2008 to recognize projects accomplished each year by state departments of transportation – these awards highlight the value that departments of transportation add to their communities.

About the project
The Nogales Mariposa Port of Entry received new technology to allow faster processing of trucks crossing the border, thereby improving overall traffic flow and processing capability at one of the busiest ports of entry in the United States.

Upgrades included a larger building to
accommodate more staff.
The project involved collaboration between ADOT, the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Upgrades included seven Slow Speed Weigh in Motion (SSWIM) scales, seven credential processing booths and a larger building to accommodate more staff to process commercial truck permitting and issuance of citations.

The project cost $8.5 million and took a little more than six months to complete. In addition to improvements at the port of entry, ADOT realigned and widened a portion of State Route 189 that runs adjacent to the port, further improving traffic flow in the area.

For more about ADOT’s ports of entry, check out our blog post from earlier this week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

ADOT's Enforcement and Compliance Division helps keep the roads safe



If you don’t know much about ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, you’ve come to the right place…

We’re here to fill you in on this team that carries out a number of duties all aimed at keeping the roads safe.

Watch the video above to learn about ECD’s responsibilities relating to federal and state ports of entry. You’ll also get a look at the division’s mobile commercial vehicle operations and the efforts made to inspect vehicles and identify stolen vehicles.

For even more, check out some of our previous blog posts that focus on permitting.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Transportation Defined: Curing Compound

No, the photo at right isn’t an example of ADOT’s latest design “statement.” Despite how it might look, the cement is not being painted a pale pink hue.

What’s being sprayed on the concrete pavement is a curing compound. It goes on pink so crews can see where it has been applied, but it dries clear.

This curing compound is sprayed on to prevent moisture from evaporating from the freshly placed concrete. It creates a kind of membrane that keeps the water in so the concrete can properly cure to its intended level of strength/hardness (you might remember that we’ve blogged before about the number of factors that can have an impact on concrete pavement).

Once the concrete has properly cured, the compound is sandblasted off portions of the road that will be painted (lane stripes, retaining walls, etc.) because it leaves behind a slight buildup that makes it difficult for paint to adhere.

Transportation Defined is a series of explanatory blog posts designed to define the things you see on your everyday commute. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see explained ... leave a comment here on the blog or over on our Facebook page!