Did you know that about 60% of all roadway fatalities in Arizona are the result of vehicles leaving the road? That’s why the Arizona Department of Transportation has started a new project along US 60 west of Show Low to create a space for those vehicles to safely stop and recover.
On US 60 west of Show Low, there have been 11 fatal and 34 serious injury crashes over the last 10 years between mileposts 292 and 340. Many of these crashes involved leaving the roadway.
ADOT, in its commitment to driver safety, is creating “clear zones” on either side of US 60 that are clear of obstructions like trees. This zone allows a driver time and space to stop or regain control of the vehicle after leaving the roadway.
Starting today, crews will remove vegetation and trees within 30 feet of the edge of the highway in most locations and 5 feet behind guardrail-protected locations. All of this work will take place within ADOT’s right-of-way.
The work will occur during daytime hours, Mondays through Fridays. No work is planned during weekends or holidays. One lane of traffic will remain open at all times on US 60, and existing turn lanes will also stay open. Barricades or other traffic-control devices will be removed after crews finish working each day. The project is anticipated to be completed early next year.
Additional benefits of this project is that drivers will have more time to react to any wildlife emerging from the forest and heading toward the highway as well as reducing ice-related incidents in the winter months caused by shading of the roadway.
Trees removed from the clear zone will be reused by local government entities including providing firewood for eligible members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
For more information on the safety project, please visit azdot.gov/US60safetyproject.