Wrong way sign project begins on southern Arizona interstates

May 19, 2021
Crews will begin work to install signs this week, with the project continuing into early 2022

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is beginning a project to install larger, more visible wrong way signs along southern Arizona’s three interstate highways as part of an ongoing effort to get the attention of drivers who travel in the wrong direction.

The more visible signs are one of ADOT’s countermeasures to reduce the risk of serious crashes by wrong-way drivers, who are frequently impaired when entering highways in the wrong direction. 

The sign project is part of an ongoing statewide initiative to replace older signs with ones that are easier for drivers to see because they are larger and closer to the ground. The “wrong way” and “do not enter” signs will be posted at freeway exit ramps. 

Crews will begin work to install the southern Arizona signs this week, with the project continuing into early 2022. The project includes new signs along I-8 in Pinal County (State Route 84 to I-10); I-10 in Pinal, Pima, and Cochise counties (Sacaton Rest Area to the New Mexico border); I-19 in Pima and Santa Cruz counties (Tucson to Nogales).

The project is paid for with federal highway safety funds. ADOT will also add white pavement arrows pointing in the correct direction of travel, both at interchanges where signs will be installed and in areas where crews upgraded signs in recent years.

Along with installing larger signs, ADOT’s efforts to reduce wrong way crashes includes a first-in-the-nation thermal-camera wrong-way vehicle alert system along some freeway segments in the Phoenix area.

ADOT first installed 26 of these larger signs above the left lanes of I-17 in Phoenix in 2017 in association with the first-in-the-nation thermal-camera wrong-way vehicle alert system being evaluated by the state.



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