I-17 closures in north Phoenix: ADOT gives advice on easing traffic detours

An I-17 closure over the weekend caused massive backups in residential areas, and with more closures expected, ADOT explains more on what's being done to prevent this from happening again.

ADOT spokesperson Doug Nintzel is giving some advice on how to avoid getting stuck.

"Don't leave the freeway. We'll try to move it as quickly as we can on the primary detour," he said.

Getting off the freeway was part of the problem this past Mother's Day Weekend. Cars were backed up for miles, stranding people in their blocked residential driveways.

ADOT says many drivers were not using the detours and instead taking back roads into residential neighborhoods.

"If you're in a situation where 'I'm checking my phone and the app is telling me go here while this closure is in place,' we would recommend avoiding those situations because the local streets are not meant to handle the freeway traffic," Nintzel said.

The southbound I-17 was closed between SR 74/Carefree Highway and Loop 303. This weekend, the northbound lanes will be closed. 

Nintzel says they're doing everything they can to prevent major backups this time around.

"We feel terrible about it as well and so what we can do is learn from the experience and see what we can do to keep getting the message out," he said.

The northbound closure will be between Loop 303 and SR 74/Carefree Highway.

The primary detour route is around the northbound frontage road. There will be some inevitable delays, so his best advice is to get out ahead of the closure.

"It is not going to be fun. The traffic is going to back up, so try to avoid the closure if you can, but it should be a better situation in terms of being able to move that northbound traffic," he said.

Learn more about the closure and the improvement project by clicking here.