ADOT highway sensors to detect dust storms in the distance
PHOENIX — Highway sensors that will detect dust storms and hopefully save lives are coming to Arizona.
The sensors will alert drivers of reduced visibility via overhead digital signs.
“And then it will automatically reduce speed limits from the normal speed limit of 75 to as little as 35 miles per hour,” said ADOT spokesman Garin Groff.
He also said the sensors on Interstate 10 between Eloy and Picacho Peak can reach 40 miles away and start warning drivers from Phoenix to Tucson.
“Really, the best way to drive in a dust storm is to never get into a dust storm,” Groff said. “The best thing to do is to delay your travel.”
So far, 13 sensors mounted on posts next to the freeway will determine dust particle density with beams of light.
ADOT’s statement announcing the pilot program reads, in part, “The system, costing about $6.5 million, is funded in part by a $54 million federal FASTLANE grant ADOT received for I-10 projects that widened stretches between Eloy and Picacho and between Earley Road and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande to three lanes in each direction.
“As part of those projects, costing $115 million in all, ADOT improved interchanges at State Route 87 near Eloy and Jimmie Kerr Boulevard in Casa Grande.”