Arizona Traffic: Memorial Day Weekend Updates

Motorists should expect heavy traffic and road closures this Memorial Day weekend as collisions and bushfires close the roads to travelers.

Follow here for information about traffic on highways in Arizona.

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Sunday 8pm: rain, wind forecast near Flagstaff on Memorial Day

The National Weather Service in Phoenix has warned drivers traveling to or from Flagstaff or the Mogollon Rim to be careful while driving on Memorial Day, as the area can occasionally experience thunderstorms in the afternoon that can cause gusts of wind and lightning.

“The best chance for storms is in the highlands of eastern Arizona. However, storms can develop up to I-17 in the west,” said the weather service in a tweet.

Sunday, 7:50 p.m .: State Route 87 reopens south of Payson

State Route 87 south of Payson has reopened all lanes in both directions by 7:50 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Sunday, 5:15 p.m .: The left south lane will reopen on State Route 87 south of Payson

At 5:16 p.m., the left lane heading south on State Route 87 was reopened to traffic after a growing bushfire that blocked multiple lanes, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The right lane is still closed.

At 4:44 p.m., the scene was cleared and all lanes were reopened after a five-vehicle collision that resulted in Interstate 17 being closed south near Indian School Road in Phoenix.

Two people were hospitalized, including an 18-year-old woman who was in critical condition, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

Sunday 3pm: Bushfire closes State Route 87 south of Payson

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, a bushfire was reported south of Payson around 3 p.m., blocking the southbound lanes of State Route 87 near the intersection of State Route 188.

At 3:34 p.m., the left lane to the north was also closed as the fire continued to grow.

At 4:21 p.m., all southbound traffic was diverted through the Tonto Basin onto State Route 188.

It is not known when the road is expected to reopen.

Alternative routes to the south include State Route 260 west on Interstate 17 or east on US 60 west.

Interstate 17 going south is closed near the Camelback Road exit.

A five vehicle collision that resulted in a car fire occurred Sunday afternoon on Interstate 17 southbound near Indian School Road in Phoenix. Two people were hospitalized, including an 18-year-old woman who was in critical condition, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

At 3:12 p.m., the left two lanes reopened, but drivers should continue to expect heavy traffic, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

At 3:44 p.m., three of the south-facing lanes were opened to traffic.

One man died and four others were injured early Sunday after a five vehicle crash near Interstate 17 and Pinnacle Peak Road in Phoenix.

The crash occurred around 12:50 a.m., according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Initial reports showed that a vehicle hit a wall, causing subsequent accidents in the area, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

One man died on the scene, and two other men and two women were also rushed to hospital, according to Phoenix Fire.

An impairment is not a factor, said the department.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, Interstate 17 southbound lanes on Happy Valley Road were closed for nearly six hours on Sunday morning because of the crash.

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You can reach the latest news reporter Monica D. Spencer at [email protected] or on Twitter @monicadspencer.

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