Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, April 24

Editorial: Interstate woes and the delays they cause

Oh, the roadways and traffic we depend upon and love to hate.Decades ago now, when I lived in Colorado, the work on Interstate 70 through the Glenwood area included perpetual delays. They lasted more than 10 years of one-lane access, alternating directions every 30 minutes. It gave new meaning to patience when going hunting or camping.I also recall in the mid-'80s in Denver when, at the intersection of I-25 and I-70 - nicknamed "the Mousetrap" - a truck carrying six torpedoes for the Navy overturned and one of them began leaking. The area and interstates were shut down for most of a day.These memories came rushing back to me Monday when we posted to dCourier.com the story on today's front page: "Interstate 10 bridge washes out, cuts off traffic between Arizona, California."The freeway was blocked indefinitely when a bridge near Desert Center, California, collapsed because of heavy rain and the roadway suffered severe damage. The collapse occurred in southeastern California Sunday afternoon, July 19. One driver was hurt and numerous others were stranded. Officials are warning this closure could last a long time and they have no estimate when I-10 would re-open.Just so we're understanding the ramifications, that is one of the major routes to and from Southern California. It is the most direct route between Los Angeles and Phoenix, averaging more than 20,000 cars per day in the area of the shutdown.Compounding the woes - albeit for a short time Monday afternoon - a section of Interstate 40, east of Flagstaff, was closed to westbound traffic because of a crash there. (As of this writing, one lane had been re-opened.)So, at one point, both east-west interstates through Arizona were a ... let's call it a "challenge" for drivers.And, we're just beginning to see work on the new Hell Canyon bridge on Highway 89 north of Paulden. Because of the way construction will be done, minimal (blasting) delays are expected.All of this makes me envision the possible, lengthy detours, if we were to experience problems there; plus, I am thankful the work is proceeding. Being proactive is the only way, when it comes to bridges and roadwork.- Tim Wiederaenders, city editorFollow Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2032, twieds@prescottaz.com or 928-420-6472.
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