ADOT adds travel times on message boards along I-17 to Flagstaff

An ADOT message board feature in the Valley has been expanded to the northern part of the state. (Photo/ADOT)

The Arizona Department of has started posting travel times on electronic message boards along Interstate 17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff.

The postings include estimated travel times via I-17 to Cordes Junction, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and other points north of the Valley, according to a release.

The display of I-17 travel times is a first for a rural section of the state’s highway system. For a decade, ADOT’s message boards have provided travel times to Valley drivers.

“One reason we’re expanding along I-17 is that winter weather can affect travel times to or from key destinations in northern Arizona,” stated Brent Cain, who leads ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations division. “Estimated times that reflect highway conditions can assist drivers with their travel plans.”

I-17 is one of Arizona’s Key Commerce Corridors, serving as the primary route for moving people, goods and services between the Phoenix area and northern Arizona communities, ADOT officials stated.

On a recent morning, with no weather-related delays or backups due to traffic incidents, a message board north of Jomax Road estimated 120 minutes to travel 125 miles to Flagstaff and 40 minutes to travel 43 miles to the State Route 69 interchange in Cordes Junction.

A message board such as the one on northbound I-17 near Sunset Point Rest Area can tell those heading to Sedona whether State Route 260 or State Route 179 is the most efficient route, according to the release. Southbound I-17 message boards can tell drivers whether State Route 169 or State Route 69 is the better option to Prescott.

While travel times posted in the Valley come from ADOT’s in-pavement traffic-flow sensors, the new I-17 travel times draw on real-time traffic data from INRIX, a mobility analytics company that helps transportation agencies monitor, measure and manage traffic information, according to officials.

ADOT designed a software application to automatically process this data for I-17, something that can eventually be used on other busy routes.

“Using data from the marketplace allows us to expand our ability to support informed and safe travel around the state,” Mr. Cain stated.

The Scottsdale Independent publishes a free daily newsletter. A print edition is mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses each month. If you value our journalistic mission, please consider showing us your support.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment