Arizona Labor Day weekend: Crash on I-17 southbound near downtown Phoenix causes delays – The Arizona Republic

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For many, Labor Day weekend signals the end of vacation season. And although COVID-19 has put a damper on major travel, that doesn’t mean families won’t be hitting the roads and taking advantage of nearby travel destinations.

That means that highway traffic jams were expected to start Friday evening and end Monday afternoon.

And while chances of rain were expected to simmer by the weekend, experts were advising people to be cautious of over-100-degree weather that was expected to hit Arizona.

Check back for the latest road restrictions, travel updates and weather conditions.

Here’s the latest for this three-day weekend:

Follow coverage of the Labor Day weekend in Arizona here.

9:05 p.m. Friday: Accident at Durango Curve causing delays

The Arizona Department of Transportation reported a crash around 8 p.m. on I-17 southbound approaching the Durango Curve in southwest downtown Phoenix.

The two left lanes of the roadway were closed after a vehicle rolled over at milepost 198.

Officials from the Department of Public Safety reported only minor injuries and no one was taken to a hospital.

ADOT did not clarify when the crash was expected to be cleared.

— Julie Luchetta

6:30 p.m. Friday: I-17 northbound experiences major delays

The Arizona Department of Transportation released an emergency alert Friday evening  warning drivers of major delays in the northbound lanes of Interstate 17 caused by holiday traffic and a crash near Sunset Point.

According to the department, the crash at milepost 252 near Sunset Point is blocking the right lane with delays stretching down to milepost 225, south of Anthem.

The lane will remain closed for an unknown amount of time and there is no estimated time for the delays to decrease, said the department. 

“Motorists are advised to consider delaying travel until the backup clears,” the department said in the alert. 

— Laura Daniella Sepúlveda

6 p.m. Friday: ADOT advises of possible delays on State Route 73 

The Arizona Department of Transportation said drivers should plan for possible delays on State Route 73 north of Whiteriver during Labor Day weekend. 

According to the department, construction work for the Post Office Canyon Bridge Rehabilitation project will be on hold during the holiday weekend, but traffic restrictions will remain in place. 

Currently, there is only one lane open on State Route 73 with alternating north- and southbound traffic near the Post Office Canyon Bridge, between mileposts 348 and 349. 

Other around-the-clock restrictions include a temporary traffic signal, reduced speed limit and 12-foot vehicle width restriction in the area of construction. 

“The restrictions are needed so crews can safely remove and replace the existing bridge deck, reconstruct the roadway approach transitions, replace guardrails and other related work”, the department said in a statement.

— Laura Daniella Sepúlveda

10:30 a.m. Friday: ADOT advises heading out early Friday to avoid weekend traffic

In order to avoid the weekend traffic, the Arizona Department of Transportation advised drivers to head out early Friday.

According to Doug Nintzel, spokesperson for ADOT, the peak time for road trippers to start leaving Phoenix is late Friday afternoon. By getting an early start on Friday, travelers can avoid the heaviest traffic.

Thousands of drivers will be on highways to the higher elevations such as Flagstaff and Prescott as well as locations in California and Nevada. 

“The usual suspects at the top of the list are I-17 north of the Phoenix area, State Route 87 between Fountain Hills and Payson,” Nintzel said.

“However, we find that a lot of people to get away, go to California and others will head to Las Vegas. And so interstates like the I-10 and 8 will be busier with people headed to the California beaches or other destinations. And U.S. 93 will be busy with people headed to Las Vegas,” he said.

Nintzel said construction roadwork was not scheduled for the holiday weekend, stopping at around noon Friday.

— Shanti Lerner

9 a.m. Friday: Labor Day weekend kicks off with calm winds, high of 101

Friday afternoon will bring calm winds and a high of about 101 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

The Valley can expect to start “drying out” over the weekend after this week’s series of showers, according to meteorologist Matthew Hirsch with National Weather Service in Phoenix.

With rain chances staying below 10% each day, the odds of rain putting a damper on the festivities are looking slim.

By noon, Phoenix will hit 95 degrees and cool down to about 90 degrees by 10 p.m. Friday night will have partly cloudy skies with a low around 81 degrees.

The Mesa area will be sunny during the day with a high of 99 degrees and a low of about 77 degrees Friday night.

Scottsdale will be at about 93 degrees by noon and is expected to hit 90 degrees around 8 p.m. Friday. 

The Tempe area will also be sunny with a high around 101 degrees on Friday. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 90s to upper 80s in Tempe Friday night.

— Salma Reyes