December 1, 2020
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The Arizona Department of Transportation is investing $5.2 million to nearly double available commercial vehicle parking spaces at its I-40 Meteor Crater Rest Area. Meanwhile, the agency also activated a new dust storm detection system along a 10-mile strip of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson.

[Above photo of truck parking space construction by the Arizona DOT.]

John Halikowski, Arizona DOT’s director, noted in a statement that the construction of 56 additional truck parking slips at the I-40 Meteor Crater Rest Area – raising the location’s total number of truck parking slots to 121 – is part of a broader effort to beef up truck parking availability along the I-40 corridor.

John Halikowski

“Adding nearly 100 truck parking spaces along the busy I-40 corridor will promote safety by helping long-haul truckers who log long hours to get goods where people need them,” he noted. “They can pull into these rest areas with more confidence there will be spaces for them.”

The Arizona DOT added that there are 468 total commercial vehicle parking spaces at the state’s 27 rest area facilities and truck drivers can now view available parking spaces are at each rest area location by visiting the agency’s Arizona Traveler Information 511 website.

The department also officially activated on June 15 a $6.5 million dust storm detection system following a 30-day test period. The system combines several technologies: 13 visibility detectors; a weather radar system that can detect storms more than 40 miles away; five variable speed limit signs; closed-circuit cameras; and overhead message boards.

Photo by the Arizona DOT

However, the agency emphasized in a statement that none of that technology can replace common sense when it comes to driving in dust storms.

While drivers will get almost instant warnings about hazardous driving conditions within the 10-mile corridor, the Arizona DOT said the safest decision drivers can make is to delay travel if a severe storm is on the move.

If drivers are caught in a dust storm, the agency emphasized that drivers should take the next exit if possible. However, if no exits are nearby, they should pull off the roadway, turn off lights, and take their foot off the brake.

editor@aashto.org

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