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Crash, Memorial Day traffic cause long backups on Arizona’s I-17

(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

PHOENIX — A crash combined with heavy Memorial Day traffic caused long delays on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix on Friday, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

ADOT later tweeted around 6:30 p.m. that traffic on the northbound I-17 was clear.

The crash happened about noon Friday near milepost 247, which is just north of Black Canyon City. The I-17 would typically see a drop in traffic during the midday hours to recover, but as people took to the road to head north for the holiday weekend, the backup began.

At one point, ADOT said the backup hit 15 miles, stretching from Black Canyon City to Anthem. Delays were expected to last well into the evening.

Drivers were urged to take other routes, such as State Route 87 or State Route 260, both of which pass through Payson.

However, those too began filling up with drivers anxious to get out of Phoenix as the afternoon progressed.

For those choosing to stick with I-17, ADOT said drivers should prepare to leave early and for the going to be slow as traffic thinned.

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