PHOENIX - Indian School Road will be closed in both directions at Interstate 17 from 9:00 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday while a wrong-way detection and warning system is installed, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.
The detection system is the first of its kind in the nation. It will use thermal cameras to detect a vehicle entering the freeway on the off-ramp.
The system is then designed to immediately alert ADOT and the Department of Public Safety. It will also trigger an illuminated wrong-way sign with flashing lights aimed at getting the attention of the wrong-way driver, as well as a warning on ADOT's overhead message boards for other freeway drivers.
The $3.7 million pilot system will be installed along a 15-mile stretch of I-17, according to ADOT.
Future restrictions will be scheduled at other I-17 interchanges between I-10 northwest of downtown and Loop 101 in north Phoenix as the installation project advances over the next few months, ADOT said.
The I-17 pilot system will speed notification, but it can’t prevent wrong-way driving, which in most cases involves impaired drivers, ADOT said.
Wrong-way drivers have been a major safety issue in Arizona lately. In June, Governor Doug Ducey called on the state to "more seriously" address wrong-way driving and ordered the thermal camera detection technology.