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Arizona transportation officials install sensors to prevent icy roads in high country

(Twitter: ADOT)

PHOENIX — In order to stay one step ahead of icy road conditions in Arizona’s high country, the state Department of Transportation has installed sensors along the Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff.

These sensors will allow department officials to “forecast the likelihood of ice forming and respond accordingly,” according to a news release.

Once the temperature of the pavement drops below a certain threshold, department officials will be alerted so they can investigate if ice has formed or will form on the roads and figure out which action is most effective to take.

Audra Merrick with the department said in the release the technology will “provide us with another way to keep motorists safe as they travel to Arizona’s colder regions.”

“These sensors are another tool in ADOT’s toolbox to help keep the highways clear of snow and ice during winter season,” Merrick said in the news release.

The sensors are located west of Flagstaff, west of Williams and on Ash Fork Hill, the release said. They use cameras and instruments to measure different types of environmental changes, including the salt content on the roads.

Department officials are planning to install more sensors throughout northern Arizona over the next few years. The sensors cost $90,000 for all three and were funded through maintenance funds, the release said.

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