It’s going to get a lot more stressful to take that relaxing weekend trip to Payson or the White Mountains.
A construction project will narrow the northbound Beeline Highway to a single lane for 10-12 months, even on weekends.
Drivers got their first taste of the project Friday, when delays grew to two hours because the route was limited to one lane. A series of missteps made Friday’s delay worse than usual. The Arizona Department of Transportation doesn’t expect other weekends to be as bad.
Still, they’re warning drivers to expect backups on state Route 87 near the Bush Highway intersection.
“We’re going to need drivers to understand that restrictions will be necessary on other holiday weekends, including Thanksgiving,” ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said.
Both southbound lanes will stay open. The northbound lanes are restricted because crews need to use part of the paved road to disturb as little land as possible in the Tonto National Forest. The work will improve shoulders and construct an overpass at the busy, and sometimes dangerous, intersection with the Bush Highway. The project should be done by the end of 2008.
Drivers stuck in Friday’s jam likely thought ADOT was doing construction, but workers were actually trying to move the barriers to restore both northbound lanes.
ADOT didn’t know its contractor had recently placed the barriers to narrow the highway until Thursday afternoon, Nintzel said. The agency wasn’t happy the contractor did that before the Labor Day weekend and ordered crews to restore both lanes.
Crews couldn’t get out until Friday morning. They got most barriers out of the way, but the work required that the highway be closed for short periods. “We simply ran out of time to take care of the restriction before the traffic started to build in the morning,” Nintzel said.
Dennis Alonso of Scottsdale got stuck in the jam just after noon while heading to Payson. “It took us over two hours to travel five miles in 115-degree weather,” he said.
chumley wrote:I also wonder if there will be many delays if accessing the Beeline from the Bush Hwy (a little congestion at the interchange is a lot better than 10 miles of 1-lane traffic)
Kevin R 15 wrote:I drove up to Payson 9-24, a Monday. The day after the truck exploded. Not much if any of a delay. It's 1 lane and 55mph thru the bridge repair, and truck hole repair, just before bridge.
I considered this fortunate, compared to what I read.
chumley wrote:I'll resurrect this thread to talk about the landslide which has closed the Beeline this weekend.
Anybody know where this has happened? I'd have to assume this is somewhere along the "new" section of roadway near Mt. Ord that bypasses Sunflower?
nonot wrote:Thanks for the heads up. What if you are going to the Mazatzals, is it completely blocked?
Grasshopper wrote:... to Mon, 24 Mar 2008 5:00 AM
joe bartels wrote:The largest ripple in the pavement appeared to be almost waist height in the news video. Looks like the cliff broke through the faux wall and the weight pushed up under the road. Willey Coyote wasn't crushed by a big boulder.
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