Rookhuyzen: Spring has sprung, which means you can again travel these roads

Posted 4/28/21

Snow melting. Flowers growing. The swallows returning to Capistrano. All signs of spring finally returning after months of winter. In the world of transportation, there is another unmistakable sign that warmer weather is here to stay: The annual reopening of state highways in northern Arizona.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Rookhuyzen: Spring has sprung, which means you can again travel these roads

Officials announced the reopening of State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains, pictured, along with other routes in the area. [Courtesy of ADOT]
Officials announced the reopening of State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains, pictured, along with other routes in the area. [Courtesy of ADOT]
Posted

Snow melting. Flowers growing. The swallows returning to Capistrano. All signs of spring finally returning after months of winter. In the world of transportation, there is another unmistakable sign that warmer weather is here to stay: The annual reopening of state highways in northern Arizona.

Starting today several state highways leading to popular outdoor destinations have reopened including:

• State Route 261 between Eager and Big Lake in the White Mountains

• State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains

• State Route 473 between State Route 260 and Hawley Lake in the White Mountains

In addition, State Route 366, known as Swift Trail, has reopened above Shannon Campground on Mount Graham. However, ADOT is still in the middle of a roadway repair project, and drivers should continue to expect delays on SR 366 as work continues.

And once spring is fully in swing, State Route 67, leading from Jacob Lake to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, will reopen. That is currently scheduled for mid-May. That’s the highway in the bottom right photo, which was also taken last year.

These highways are closed in the winter months due to the significant levels of snowfall each receives. The closures also allow ADOT to best use its resources keeping more heavily traveled highways open.

To reopen state highways after a long winter’s nap involves a fair amount of spring cleaning. And by spring cleaning we mean using heavy-duty snowblowers to clear the road for eager motorists.

We welcome everyone to take a drive through high country again, but remind you to continue to be safe. If you are heading out, take normal precautions such as:

• Make sure all occupants in a vehicle are buckled in.

• Check tire pressure, fluids and more to make sure a vehicle is in proper running condition.

• Be patient, including not following other vehicles too closely and building in extra travel time.

• Get enough sleep before the trip.

• Bring extra water and food.

• Never drink and drive.

Check for information about highway restrictions and more by visiting az511.gov, calling 511 or following ADOT on Twitter: @ArizonaDOT.

David Rookhuyzen is a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Visit azdot.gov.

Comments