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ADOT expects heavy snow-play traffic this weekend

Northern Arizona University freshman Paxton Gyves sleds down a hill on the Flagstaff, Ariz., campus on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, during the city's first snowfall of the season. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca)

The Arizona Department of Transportation is warning drivers this weekend to expect heavy traffic along  U.S. 180 near Flagstaff, as people take advantage of the long weekend to play in the snow.

According to a press release from ADOT, those using the U.S. 180 should expect long delays into Flagstaff after popular snow-play areas close between 4 and 4:30 p.m. ADOT advises that individuals start heading back early to help motorists avoid the heaviest traffic.

ADOT recommends to avoid the congestion through Flagstaff, consider taking an alternate route via the Butler Avenue I-40 exit where signs will direct travelers to and from the U.S. 180.

ADOT also added to never pull over along busy highways and Interstates to play in the snow, as it is dangerous for you, others drivers and for first responders.

While the weather has been great this weekend, ADOT also warns drivers to plan for extra travel time, and drivers should prepare as if they would for any extended period in a snowy, icy or cold area by bringing a fully charged cellphone, plenty of gas, drinking water, winter coats and warm blankets.

ADOT also reminds drivers to not crowd the plow and give snowplows plenty of room by maintaining a four-car lengths distance behind the plow, and never pass a snowplow while its clearing the road.