Friday, November 17, 2017

Bridge repair requires weekend restrictions and closures on Interstate 17, Seventh Avenue beginning Friday, Nov. 17

Crews begin task of replacing damaged girder

Southbound Interstate 17 will be narrowed to one or two lanes as needed at Seventh Avenue near downtown Phoenix from 9 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, for bridge-repair work. Drivers should expect delays and consider an alternate route, such as eastbound I-10.

Seventh Avenue beneath I-17 also will be impacted as follows:

Northbound Seventh Avenue will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19.
Southbound Seventh Avenue will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday, Nov. 18.
Drivers should follow directional signage in the work zone and use Seventh Street, Central or 19th avenues as alternate routes.

Beginning Saturday night and continuing through December, the right shoulder on southbound I-17 will be closed. Northbound I-17 and the on- and off-ramps to north and southbound I-17 will not be impacted.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is beginning the first phase of a bridge-repair project. This weekend’s work includes setting temporary concrete barrier on I-17 and removing the bridge rail, deck and a damaged support beam – or girder – that was struck by an over-height vehicle last month.

In October, a truck hauling heavy machinery up Seventh Avenue hit the bridge and damaged the girder. ADOT bridge engineers inspected the site and determined the bridge is safe for drivers on I-17; however, the girder replacement is necessary to prevent debris from falling onto Seventh Avenue.

Since the incident occurred, Seventh Avenue has been narrowed to two lanes at I-17. It will re-open after this weekend’s work and remain open until mid-December, when crews return for phase two of the project which includes installing a new girder, replacing the bridge rail and deck and removing the temporary concrete barrier. ADOT will provide advance notification of next month’s restrictions when plans are finalized.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.


Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Lane restriction scheduled on State Route 87 north of Sacaton

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for the following restriction for chip seal work on State Route 87 north of Sacaton:

North and southbound SR 87 will be narrowed to one lane (right-lane closed) from milepost 152, 1 mile north of Sacaton, to milepost 160, 4 miles north of Gilbert Road, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily, Monday, Nov. 20, and Tuesday, Nov. 21. A 14-foot vehicle width restriction is in place. Drivers should expect delays up to 15 minutes.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Closure scheduled on Craycroft Road underneath Interstate 10

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for the following restrictions as construction continues at the Interstate 10 and Craycroft Road traffic interchange:

Craycroft Road will be closed in both directions underneath I-10 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20.

Eastbound and westbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane (alternating lanes) at milepost 268 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.Monday, Nov. 20. All loads wider than 11 feet must use the Craycroft Road ramps to exit the freeway.

Drivers can use Wilmot Road or Valencia Road as an alternate route.
All ramps at I-10 and Craycroft Road will remain open.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

The $3.3 million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2017. Please visit the website at http://azdot.gov/CraycroftTI for more information.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Work ready to begin on State Route 347 bridge in Maricopa Will alleviate backups by carrying traffic over railroad tracks



MARICOPA ‒ A project that will free Maricopa commuters from long waits as trains cross busy State Route 347 in the central part of the city is about the get underway.

Arizona Department of Transportation crews are preparing to begin work on a bridge on State Route 347 over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks just south of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The two-year project also includes an overpass connecting southbound SR 347 to Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, and a new route for northbound drivers on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

The $55 million project is designed to enhance safety and alleviate traffic backups at the railroad crossing in Maricopa. ADOT received a $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to cover a portion of the cost, and the city of Maricopa is contributing nearly $14 million.

“By enhancing mobility and safety, this project and the partnership that made it a reality will improve the quality of life in Maricopa and the region,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said.

Maricopa is one of the fastest-growing communities in Arizona, and SR 347 is the primary route for commuters who work in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Drivers from the southern part of the city are often stopped behind one of the more than 60 trains that cross SR 347 daily – a number that is expected to grow to more than 100 by 2040. Traffic in the area is expecting to double by 2040 to at least 60,000 vehicles per day.

Maricopa officials are planning a groundbreaking event for 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20, at SR 347 and Honeycutt Road.

“This marks the culmination of 14 years of work and fiscal prudence,” Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said. “This crucial infrastructure project has been one of our biggest hurdles to growth and safety. We now begin a new chapter and look forward to working with ADOT to build our overpass.”

The bridge will be constructed east of the current SR 347 alignment beginning at Desert Cedars Drive and connecting with the current alignment north of Honeycutt Road. Northbound drivers on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will travel north on an alignment near the current Fourth Street and turn west at Honeycutt before connecting with SR 347.

For more information on the SR 347 project, please visit the project webpage at azdot.gov/sr347.

Lane restrictions on Interstate 10 in Tucson

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for the following restrictions on I-10 north of the I-19 intersection for roadway repair in Tucson:

Eastbound traffic on I-10 will be reduced (left lane will be closed) at milepost 260 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., daily,Saturday, Nov. 18, through Monday, Nov. 20.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Arizona launches Traffic Incident Management website for responders Site will be a go-to resource for traffic incident responders

PHOENIX – A new website will help make traffic incident response more efficient and vehicle travel safer for motorists in Arizona.

Created by the Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Traffic Incident Management website – tim.az.gov – debuts this week with the goal of being the go-to resource for Arizona TIM responder training.



“Effective Traffic Incident Management keeps the public safe, emergency responders safe and traffic moving,” said Derek Arnson, ADOT’s Traffic Management Group manager. “It’s important that everyone who responds to a traffic incident, from law enforcement to tow truck operators, are working together and following the same practices.”

Traffic Incident Management (TIM) is the coordinated practices, responsibilities and cooperation of emergency responders, which includes law enforcement, fire departments, medical services, transportation crews and tow truck operators, at traffic incidents. These coordinated efforts help keep crash victims and emergency responders safe, while restoring traffic flow.


A primary focus in building the website was to create a central location for all of Arizona’s incident responders to sign up for and receive TIM training.

While the website is geared toward emergency responders, tips for the public can be found there, too, including videos and infographics related to Arizona’s “Move Over” law, “Quick Clearance” and work-zone safety.

Lane closure on State Route 347 near Interstate 10 on Thursday, Nov. 16

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers that the southbound State Route 347 will be narrowed to one lane between the eastbound Interstate 10/Queen Creek Road exit and Maricopa Road for pavement repair.

Paving is scheduled from 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 through 5 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Weekend Travel Advisory November 17-20, 2017



Drivers should be aware of the following restrictions this weekend:
Southbound I-17 narrowed to two lanes (right lane closed) near Seventh Avenue (south of downtown Phoenix) from 9 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Saturday
Southbound I-17 on-ramp at Bethany Home Road and southbound off-ramp at Thomas Road closed from 9 p.m.Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday

View the Weekend Travel Advisory map in PDF format or visit our site for a complete listing of restrictions for this weekend.

Interstate 17 ramp closures scheduled this weekend for wrong-way vehicle detection project No major restrictions scheduled as Thanksgiving travel week approaches

Phoenix drivers should plan for mostly overnight ramp closures along Interstate 17 this weekend as work continues to install the pilot wrong-way vehicle detection and warning system.

The southbound I-17 on-ramp at Bethany Home Road and the southbound I-17 off-ramp at Thomas Road will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, until 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. The northbound I-17 frontage road between Encanto Boulevard and Thomas Road will also be closed during these times. Drivers should plan for possible delays and use alternate routes.

No major restrictions are planned for this project during the Thanksgiving travel week.

For more information about this project, visit www.azdot.gov/projects/central-district-projects/i-17-wrong-way-detection-system.

Project schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511,except while driving.

Public hearing scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 29, on Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 1 rehabilitation

Draft Environmental Assessment is available for review and comment



The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have scheduled a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 29, for the public to learn about and comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the I-15 Virgin River Bridge No. 1 bridge rehabilitation project, near Littlefield and Beaver Dam in Mohave County.
Public hearing is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 9 in Littlefield. A formal presentation is scheduled from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Three issues related to the bridge have been identified: structural deficiencies, the ability to accommodate high volumes of truck traffic and the need to support interstate and regional travel. A preferred design solution to replace the bridge and widen the roadway shoulders in construction phases is proposed.

Representatives from ADOT and the project team will be at the public hearing to answer questions about the project. The public hearing is also an opportunity for members of the public to provide formal verbal testimony on the draft EA to the study team. A court reporter will be available to record individual verbal comments as well.

A range of alternatives were evaluated and the analysis is documented in the draft EA, which is available for review through Dec. 14, 2017. The draft EA is available to review online at www.azdot.gov/i15ea and at the following locations during business hours:
Mesquite Library, 121 W. First North St., Mesquite, Nevada 89027
Washington County Library-St. George Branch, 88 W. 100 South St., St. George, Utah 84770
Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 91 North, Littlefield, Arizona 86432

There are several opportunities for the public to provide comments on the draft EA during the comment period. All comment methods are considered equal.
At the public hearing (written or verbal)
In writing: I-15, Bridge 1, 101 N. First Ave., Suite 2600, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Online: www.azdot.gov/VRB1Comments
Email: projects@adot.gov
Phone: 855.712.8530

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons who require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact Michele Beggs, ADOT community relations project manager, at 928.681.6054 or mbeggs@azdot.gov . Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad. Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en Michele Beggs, ADOT community relations project manager, 928.681.6054. ombeggs@azdot.gov . Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

ADOT seeks input on I-15 Virgin River Bridge No. 1 rehabilitation project Public encouraged to attend Nov. 29 hearing

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation is seeking input from community members on a bridge rehabilitation project along Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge with a public hearing on Nov. 29 in Littlefield.

Those attending the hearing, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 91 North, can review and comment on the draft environmental assessment for the bridge project. A formal presentation is scheduled from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

The hearing will present three issues identified with Bridge No. 1 along I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge as well as a preferred design solution to replace the bridge and widen the roadway shoulders.

The draft environmental assessment, which is available for review through Dec. 14, can be reviewed online at www.azdot.gov/i15ea and at the following locations during business hours:
Mesquite Library, 121 W. First North St., Mesquite, Nevada
Washington County Library-St. George Branch, 88 W. 100 South St., St. George, Utah
Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 91 North, Littlefield, Arizona

Outside of the public hearing, community members can provide comments on the draft environmental assessment through the following ways:
In writing: I-15, Bridge 1, 101 N. First Ave., Suite 2600, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Online: www.azdot.gov/VRB1Comments
Email: projects @adot.gov
Phone: 855.712.8530

For more information on this and other projects, visit azdot.gov.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

ADOT and its plows are prepared for winter weather. Are you?

Drivers should think twice before traveling during snowstorms



PHOENIX – With winter on the horizon, the Arizona Department of Transportation has spent months preparing for snow and ice that storms will dump on the state’s higher elevations.

ADOT has 375 certified snowplow operators ready to operate the agency’s nearly 200 snowplows, which are stationed around the state to keep people and commerce moving when snow falls on highways.

Now it’s time for drivers to do their part, starting with following essential safety tips available at azdot.gov/KnowSnow to prepare themselves and their vehicles for winter travel. That includes slowing down, leaving extra room behind the next vehicle, taking along warm clothing, blankets, food and water, and packing an emergency kit.

Your preparations should include staying apprised of weather conditions and being ready to postpone travel so ADOT’s snowplows can clear roadways. A highway takes much longer to plow when it’s jammed with vehicles that had no business traveling on a roadway that’s slick with snow and ice. That happened last Christmas Eve, when a powerful storm dropped inches of snow per hour, closing a long stretch of Interstate 40 in a tangle of crashes and stranded vehicles that took many hours to clear.

A snowplow can’t clear a highway if it’s pulled out of service when another vehicle hits it. That happened several times last winter, fortunately without significant injures. Every vehicle, from semis to passenger cars, needs to give snowplows room to work – a minimum of four vehicle lengths to allow room to stop.

Avoid passing a snowplow that’s clearing a highway until the driver pulls over to let traffic pass. Never assume a snowplow operator knows your vehicle is nearby. If you can’t see the plow driver, there’s a good chance the driver can’t see you.

Always remember: The safest place on a highway when it’s snowing is behind a snowplow.

Heading to sled and throw snowballs? Do that in designated areas away from highways, not parked on shoulders, which are for emergencies only. Parking on a highway shoulder to play in the snow distracts other drivers and can interfere with first responders who may need to use the shoulder. If that isn’t reason enough, keep in mind that a snowplow can hurl large amounts of snow and ice well away from a highway.

ADOT recently installed signs along a stretch of US 180 northwest of Flagstaff reminding drivers that parking on the shoulder is for emergencies only.

Those heading to popular snow-play areas should be prepared to spend extended time in winter conditions, as traffic at day’s end is often heavy on highways including US 180 toward Flagstaff. In addition, highways can have extended closures from crashes and weather conditions.

Prepare for trips by visiting the ADOT Know Snow website (azdot.gov/KnowSnow), which has tips on making sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving, driving safely on highways with snow and ice, driving safely while snowplows work and packing supplies in case a vehicle becomes stranded. For example, a little cat litter or sand will provide traction if a vehicle becomes stuck along the roadway.

Before heading out, drivers can call 511 or visit ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov for the latest highway conditions. The website features real-time images along state highways that give drivers a glimpse of weather in various regions. ADOT’s Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook page (facebook.com/AZDOT) are sources of real-time information and interaction.

When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, ADOT’s free app available at ADOTAlerts.comwill send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Shea Boulevard restricted at State Route 51 for sign work Thursday

The Shea Boulevard intersection at State Route 51 (Piestewa Freeway) in northeast Phoenix will be restricted Thursdaynight for overhead sign work. The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan ahead and use alternate routes, including Cactus Road, while the following restrictions are in place from 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, to 5 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17:

Westbound Shea Boulevard will be closed to through traffic at SR 51. Westbound Shea Boulevard traffic also will not have access to southbound SR 51.
Eastbound Shea Boulevard traffic will not have access to northbound SR 51. Traffic exiting northbound SR 51 also will not be able to turn onto westbound Shea Boulevard and traffic exiting southbound SR 51 will not be able to turn onto eastbound Shea Boulevard.

In addition to the overhead sign work, crews will be adjusting pavement markings at the Shea Boulevard bridge over SR 51.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Interstate 10 ramps to northbound Interstate 17 closed overnight Saturday for utility work

Intermittent closures of I-17 in Phoenix also scheduled through noon Sunday

Both I-10 ramps to northbound I-17 are scheduled to be closed from 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, to noon Sunday, Nov. 19, while crews from APS and Cox Communications work on overhead utility lines. Drivers should also plan for intermittent closures of I-17 in both directions between Thomas and Indian School roads. Closures are scheduled to last up to 20 minutes each.

Drivers should consider using Seventh, 19th, 27th or 35th avenues as alternate northbound routes while the ramps from I-10 to northbound I-17 are closed. ADOT also advises drivers to use caution and watch for Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers who are slowing or stopping traffic in I-17 as needed so utility crews can work safely.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

State Route 87 restrictions scheduled for Sunday’s Ironman triathlon in the East Valley

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for restrictions and drive with caution as more than 3,000 athletes compete in Sunday’s Ironman triathlon in the East Valley. The following restrictions are scheduled to be in place between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19:

State Route 87 (Duthie-Martin Highway) will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between McDowell Road and Shea Boulevard. The northbound lanes will carry one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction while cyclists use both southbound travel lanes.
The northbound Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) off-ramp at McKellips Road will be closed.
The southbound Loop 101 off-ramp at McKellips Road will be restricted to westbound travel only.
Westbound McKellips Road will be closed at Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway). Drivers will be routed onto Loop 202.

For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Road shift scheduled on US 191 in Clifton as improvement project continues

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for restrictions on US 191 as a safety-improvement project in Clifton continues.

The $668,000 project is located in Greenlee County on US 191 beginning at Smelter Hill and extending to Horseshoe Curve.Work began in September and is scheduled for completion in spring 2018.

The approximate length of the project is 2.5 miles (from milepost 162.5 to milepost 165). The work consists of makingdrainage improvements; installing sidewalk ramps that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; makingsidewalk, curb and gutter improvements; and installing pavement markings and traffic-slowing devices such as dynamic speed display signs and speed tables. Similar to speed bumps in a roadway but longer and flatter, speed tables are designed to raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to slow it down.

The following overnight restrictions are scheduled to occur from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, through Monday, Nov. 20:
Northbound and southbound travel lanes on US 191 will be shifted to the north of the existing roadway near the Morenci Post Office. Speed limits will be reduced from 35 mph to 15 mph.
Comb Street will be closed at US 191. To access neighborhoods north and south of US 191, drivers can take Gomez Loop and Chase Creek Street, respectively.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

For more information visit the project website.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Public comment period begins today for North-South Corridor environmental study Tell us what you think about the newest proposed alternative corridor options

As the North-South Corridor environmental study progresses with some changes to the proposed corridor alternatives, the Arizona Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, is now seeking comments on the options from the public and agencies.

There have been several changes to the study since 2014, when the last formal public comment period was held. Most notable is the switch to a different environmental review process – a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. This tiered environmental study will establish the selected alternative, while funding is pursued for further studies.

During the previous project-level environmental review in late 2014, an Alternatives Selection Report was presented. Since that time, some of the proposed alternative corridors have been modified to avoid sensitive resources. Those modified alternative corridor options are now ready for review via an online mapping and comment tool that can be accessed here:azdot.gov/NorthSouthCorridorStudy.

The North-South Corridor, spanning more than 40 miles between US 60 and Interstate 10 in Pinal County, includes multiple proposed alternative corridors with segment options throughout, along with the no-build alternative. The online mapping tool allows users to drop a pin and comment on a specific area, or provide general comments on the study corridor. The comment period runs for 30 days. All comments received by Dec. 14 will be entered into the Corridor Selection Report for this phase of work. However, comments are encouraged through all phases of the process. Comments can also be provided via email, postal mail or by telephone.

The planned North-South Corridor would accommodate anticipated growth in the study area and across the larger region; improve access to future activity and population centers; and improve regional connectivity. As part of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, ADOT and FHWA would also identify a corridor that would extend State Route 24 from Ironwood Drive and connect with the North-South Corridor.

The Tier 1 environmental study process will conclude with a Record of Decision by the Federal Highway Administration. The document will allow a project-level Tier 2 environmental study process to move forward, once funding is secured. The no-build alternative could also be selected.

If the North-South Corridor advances, the project could be built in full or in phases, once funding has been identified for construction.

A public hearing will be held once the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement is published and ready for comment. The Tier 1 environmental study is expected to be complete in 2020.

Comments can be sent to:
Email: northsouth@azdot.gov
ADOT Project Information Line: 1-855-712-8530
Mail:

North-South Corridor Study Team

c/o ADOT Communications

1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Comments must be received by Dec. 14 to be included in the Corridor Selection Report.

For more information on the North-South Corridor Study, visit the study website at azdot.gov/NorthSouthCorridorStudy.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons who require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact Laura Douglas, Community Relations project manager, at602.712.7683 or at ldouglas@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad. Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto Laura Douglasat 602.712.7683 or at ldouglas@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.

Southern to close at 59th Ave. for South Mountain Freeway interchange construction Traffic will detour to Baseline and Broadway through spring

Another critical step in building the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway will start Monday, Nov. 27, as construction begins on the Southern Avenue interchange, work that will require an extended full closure of Southern at 59th Avenue.

The closure, scheduled to last through March, will allow crews to build the southern half of one of the South Mountain Freeway’s 13 interchanges, including moving more than 450,000 cubic yards of dirt. Sixteen concrete piers have already been planted to support a bridge over Southern Avenue.

During the closure, traffic will detour to either Broadway or Baseline roads between 51st and 67th avenues. Approximately 10,000 vehicles per day travel through the intersection of Southern and 59th avenues.



In order to build the interchange, crews will complete the following work:

Perform earthwork needed for the freeway and connecting ramps
Begin construction of the 125-foot Southern Avenue bridge over the freeway
Install underground utilities and drainage structures
Pave the eastbound Southern Avenue lanes

Southern Avenue will be widened to complete the interchange in two phases. This paving will allow crews to complete the northern half of the interchange without an extended closure.

After the Southern Avenue closure is lifted, additional work will include paving the ramps and mainline freeway, installing signage, constructing retaining walls, finishing construction of the Southern Avenue bridge, completing final striping and adding landscaping.

This is the second South Mountain Freeway interchange under construction in the Laveen area. Last month, work started on the Elliot Road overpass. Elliot Road at 59th Avenue will remain closed through the end of March.

The South Mountain Freeway, which is scheduled to open in late 2019, will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to I-10 through downtown Phoenix. Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.

For more information on the South Mountain Freeway, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Shea Boulevard restricted at SR 51 Thursday night for sign work Drivers should consider alternate routes, including Cactus Road

The Shea Boulevard intersection at State Route 51 (Piestewa Freeway) in northeast Phoenix will be restricted Thursday night for overhead sign work, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Drivers should consider alternate routes, including Cactus Road, while the following restrictions are in place:

Westbound Shea Boulevard closed to through traffic overnight at SR 51 from 9 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday (Nov. 17) for overhead sign work. Westbound Shea Boulevard traffic also will not have access to southbound SR 51.
Eastbound Shea Boulevard traffic will not have overnight access to northbound SR 51 from 9 p.m.Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday (Nov. 17). Traffic exiting northbound SR 51 also will not be able to turn onto westbound Shea Boulevard and traffic exiting southbound SR 51 will not be able to turn onto eastbound Shea Boulevard.

In addition to the overhead sign work, crews will adjust pavement markings at the Shea Boulevard bridge over SR 51. Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas - where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

THE GUIDE TO SURVIVING THANKSGIVING WITH YOUR FAMILY

(Mom.me) Home for the holidays. Thanksgiving promises good food, loads of family time, as well as the stress of everyone hanging out at home in a confined space while you're often in the kitchen trying to make a magical meal. Use these tips to minimize your stress during the moments when your family can bring out the worst in you:

Set healthy boundaries

You can only do so much, and it's important to remember that. Whether you're inviting guests over or just having a quiet Thanksgiving at home, the holidays can be stressful when you focus on making the day feel perfect. Don't be afraid to set healthy boundaries, get your family to help and lower your holiday expectations. It will help you to avoid conflict or a meltdown before it begins. You'll thank yourself later and so will your spouse.

Get some shuteye

Although it can be tempting to let the kids stay up late during the holidays, when they're on a school break and you're off work, it's best to make sure they and you get enough sleep to avoid crankiness and meltdowns during the day. When you're tired, you're more likely to be snappy with family. And you don't want to get burned out with days to go before your kids go back to school.

Have a master plan

Spending time with family isn't joyous 24-7. Knowing things won't be perfect is important if you want to avoid a meltdown later. Sit down with your spouse before Thanksgiving and get them on the same page. It may help you to write down a couple of goals for you to keep in mind for when arguments occur, tears are shed or resentment rears its ugly head.

Stay caffeinated

Have plenty of coffee on hand. Cooking a giant meal on top of regular mom life will likely have you reaching for more than one cup per day. In fact, it might be helpful to also have a few extra bottles of wine, too.

Remember to have fun

Don't forget that your kids will cherish family traditions as they grow older. If you don't have any of your own traditions, start one. Even if they're too young to remember now, they'll look back on photos down the road and that trip to the pumpkin patch as a family will become a beloved childhood memory.

Pregnancy is a get out of jail free card

We're just going to say it; Pregnancy during the holidays gives you an automatic free pass to eat anything without being judged and to leave early because you "don't feel well" after too many people have touched your belly and given you unsolicited advice about breastfeeding. You don't get this free pass any other time, so enjoy it while you can.

Cut your kids some slack

A major schedule shift (or having visitors) can stress your kids out, too. If they're not old enough to express themselves with words, it's likely they'll cry, want to be held, feel shy and plenty of other scenarios. Do your best to keep your kids on the same routine, even if there's family in town. When that's not possible, be a little extra patient and understanding when they act out.

Prep meals in advance

Thanksgiving dinner is delicious and it's also an exhausting labor of love to prepare. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen from sun-up to sun-down, it's easier if you break the meal preparation into manageable chunks throughout the week before the actual day. That way, come Turkey Day you just have to roast or deep fry your bird and reheat the sides and enjoy.

Save time with a caterer

Another way to lower your Thanksgiving meal stress is to get all or part of your meal catered. You can also just buy some of the side dishes instead of making them, which will free you up to focus on the most important parts of your Thanksgiving spread and to spend more time with your family.

Take time to be silly

Precisely because the holidays are stressful, don't forget to take time out to be silly and spontaneous with your kids. Take selfies, play a fun game, and pay them some special attention. You won't regret all the funny faces on your camera roll.

Your kids aren't the only kids

It's likely that your kids aren't the only children at the family holiday gathering. Be sure to show some love to nieces and nephews, too. Showering other kids in the family with attention makes them feel special, and it'll make you feel good as well. If you don't live close to each other, try to get a little one-on-one time together, even if it's just reading a bedtime story. Swap bedtime duties with your sister-in-law or another family member so that your kids get love from other family members, too.

Extend grace to difficult family members

If you've been on the receiving end of hurt or is appointment with a family member in the past, consider showing a little extra grace to them during the holidays. It probably wasn't and still isn't a reflection on you or anything you did. Sometimes people who are hurting will hurt others. In some situations, the best thing you can do is put your feelings aside about what happened before and start anew, keeping in mind the lessons you've learned. Nobody's perfect, and if you've wronged someone, it's a good time to extend an apology if you haven't already. Don't forget to also extend grace to yourself.

It's OK to play

Kids will be kids. And by that, we mean, if there's a pile of leaves, they'll want to jump into it. While you're busy with Thanksgiving dinner, it helps to get your spouse or another family member to take the kids outside for some fresh air and playtime. Even if you're the one doing the majority of the cooking, it's important to schedule your own breaks and have some fun so you don't burn out by the time your Thanksgiving meal is served.

Quality time

Thanksgiving isn't just about holiday food and a beautiful table spread. It's also about making memories that will last a lifetime. Find ways to spend time with your family that don't revolve around Thanksgiving dinner. Watch holiday movies, play games and create special moments that you'll cherish for years to come.

You deserve to enjoy yourself

Emotions run high during the holidays, and everyone feels a lot of pressure when it comes to spending time with their family and preparing an awesome meal. You don't have to be perfect and you deserve to have a good time, too. Don't burden yourself with all the responsibilities for Thanksgiving. Delegate some of the chores and cooking to others so you can also enjoy the special day.

Capture memories

Documenting the holidays with photos of your kids will give you something to look back on and smile about. Don't forget that you need to be in some of the photos, too.

Present over perfect

Instead of stressing about menus, flowers, centerpieces and a variety of other things people worry about during the holidays, just be present and live in the moment. If something goes wrong, it's not the end of the world. It doesn't matter if your dinner isn't perfect, your kids don't behave all day, your husband disappears to the den to watch football instead of taking out the trash, or anything else that might contribute to your holiday anxiety. Nobody's perfect. What matters is that you're together.

Leave emotional baggage at home

If you're traveling during Thanksgiving, the only kind of baggage you should bring with you is the kind that carries your clothing. Kids can pick up on uncomfortable vibes when you're carrying a heavy load of feelings on your shoulders. Let any past hurts or frustrations stay in the past, and focus on having a great time with your family.

Stay home if you feel like it

If traveling with a baby or toddler during the holidays is too stressful and you just can't face the idea of Aunt Ida making small talk at the dinner table about her experience breastfeeding 30 years ago, there's no rule that says you have to go visit family for Thanksgiving. It's OK to stay home and forge your own Thanksgiving traditions as a small family and visit everyone else some other time. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision you'll regret. You deserve to enjoy your holiday no matter who you decide to spend it with or without.

HEADLINE TRUTH OR TRASH

"High Blood Pressure Causes Hypertension!"

Trash! Only in the way that migraines cause headaches.

"Judge Tells Man to Take Off His Hat-Cocaine Falls Out!"
Truth! So 43-year-old Juan Jose Vidrio Bibriesca was promptly walked straight back to the county jail and he now faces new charges of narcotics possession and another bond violation.

"Pepsi Introduces Salted Caramel Soda!"
Truth! Yep-just in time for the holidays and, despite its apparently disgustingly sweet taste, is ironically reported to have less sugar than original Pepsi.

"Weight Watchers Introduces Diet Scotch!"
Trash! Diet wine, yes. Scotch, no. Baby steps, people.

"Pope Tells Catholics to Put Away the Cell Phones in Church!"
Truth! Apparently it happens a lot and Pope Francis is calling it a "very ugly thing."

"The Ghost of Judy Garland Actually Hates Rainbows!"
Trash! But the Cowardly Lion is afraid of them.

"Bob Costas Says Football Will Soon Collapse Like a House of Cards!"
Truth! Hard to imagine America without football, but Costas says it's unsustainable unless they get this CTE stuff figured out.

"Beer Pong is Newest Olympic Sport at the Winter Games!"
Trash! C'mon, if anything, it would be at the Summer Games.

SAVE A WET CELL PHONE

Ever dropped your cell phone in a puddle or worse, the toilet? If your cell takes an unexpected dunking and it's not waterproof, follow these steps to avoid a trip to the gadget graveyard. If McGyver can do, so can you

  • Turn off the phone and remove the battery. And no matter what, do not turn it back on. Electricity and water don't mix. The circuits may survive if the power is cut quickly. 
  • Dry it off as much as possible to prevent more liquid from seeping in. 
  • Put the phone and battery in a dry, warm spot with good ventilation so the remaining water evaporates. 
  • Let the parts dry for two days and not a minute less. You may short circuit the system if any wires are damp. 
  • After two days, reattach the battery, turn it on and make a test call. With luck, your phone is back in working order.

YOUR CRAVINGS DECODED

Dying for Oreos or chips? Your body may be trying to tell you something about your diet, says Keri Glassman, R.D., a New York City nutritionist. Tune in and avoid packing on the pounds when you crave:

Salty or greasy food
It could mean you're slightly dehydrated. "Salt holds water in," says Glassman. "Your body may be trying to hang onto the fluids it's got." Aim for eight glasses of water a day.

Candy or chocolate
It could mean you need protein. Without its slow releasing energy, your body will try to get a quick fix to boost blood sugar. Try a cup of yogurt it has 24 percent of your daily protein total.

Bread or pasta
It could mean you don't eat enough. Starches are already partially broken down, so your body knows carbs will give it energy fast. Be sure to eat at least 1,200 calories a day.

STAY ALERT BEHIND THE WHEEL

Researchers estimate that every day 250,000 Americans drive while sleep deprived. This lack of sleep is a major cause of car accidents. If staying off the road when you're tired is unavoidable:

Suck on a mint
Researchers at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University found that the scents of peppermint and cinnamon boost alertness while cutting fatigue in drivers.

Crank the stereo
Fast music with high frequency sounds like high voices, violins and saxophones will help keep you sharp. "Brains waves, heart rate and breathe will speed up to match the rhythm," says Joshua Leeds, a psychoacoustic researcher.

Grab a cup of coffee
A recent study published in the journal Sleep found that drinking coffee is more effective than taking a power nap.

DID SOMEONE SAY SEX?

A survey called "Sex and America" exposes just how differently men and women view sex. Two-thousand people shared their opinions on everything from first-date etiquette to sexual assault. The findings appear in the April issues of both Esquire and Cosmopolitan magazines. Here are some of the notable findings:

52 percent of men, compared to 48 percent of women, said under certain circumstances, most men are capable of rape.

59 percent of men, compared to 53 percent of women, believed going home together after the first or second date entails sex later that night.
51 percent of women, compared to 36 percent of men, have sent naked selfies.
26 percent of men send a naked selfie to a crush, so someone they're trying to woo.

IT'S MY BODY

Men's Health gives us the 14 worst things you can do for your body. They included:
  • Throwing back more than two drinks a day 
  • Watching Netflix marathons 
  • Overtraining 
  • Smoking socially (just don't smoke at all!) 
  • Eating packaged foods 
  • Not drinking enough water 
  • Too much coffee 
  • Skipping sun block 
Anyone want to add to the list? What's the worst thing you do for your body?

TOP 10 TIPS TO LIVE A LONG, HEALTHY LIFE

Aging successfully means more than good health. It also means taking charge of your personal well being so you can continue to live a vibrant, independent life, regardless of your age. "Successful aging isn't difficult, but it does require a personal commitment to active living," says to Dr. Terri Ginsberg of the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Top 10 tips to live a longer and healthier life:

1. Sleep at night.
Avoid frequent daytime naps, late night snacks or watching television in bed.

2. Eat lots of colors.
Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables on your plate mean a healthy diet that keeps your body moving.

3. Get checked out.
Catch up on any health screenings your doctor has recommended and don't forget eye and dental check-ups.

4. Worry less.
It really is possible to "worry yourself sick." Excessive worrying can lead to high blood pressure, digestive problems, chronic headaches and unhealthy weight gain.

5. Stay in touch.
Living alone doesn't mean being alone. Reach out to friends, neighbors and relatives.

6. Move more.
Exercise improves heart health, and good heart health helps prevent a range of related disorders, including blood clots and depression.

7. Read more.
You can "exercise your brain" with newspapers, books, magazines or puzzles.

8. Laugh and sing.
Is there a better way to enjoy life than to laugh and sing? And both will help you to worry less.

9. Take control.
Be proactive about your own health. Ask your doctor questions about your health and for advice on positive lifestyle changes.

10. Get involved.
Local organizations of all types need volunteers. Helping others is the best tonic for feeling good about yourself.

FOUR ON THE FLOOR

Eating food that has fallen on the floor isn't safe -- even if you pick it up right away. So much for the five-second rule/ Bacteria can transfer to food in less than one second. Led by Donald Schaffner, a professor and extension specialist in food science, the team tested four different foods dropped on four types of surfaces and then left on the surfaces for varying lengths of time to determine how quickly bacteria transferred to the food.

The tests:
The surfaces: stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet
The foods: watermelon, bread, bread and butter and gummy candy
The times: less than one second, five seconds, 30 seconds and 300 seconds

The researchers used two media -- tryptic soy broth and peptone buffer -- to grow Enterobacter aerogenes, a nonpathogenic "cousin" of Salmonella naturally occurring in the human digestive system. Transfer scenarios were evaluated for each surface type, food type, contact time and bacterial preparation; surfaces were inoculated with bacteria and allowed to completely dry before food samples were dropped and left to remain for specified periods. All totaled 128 scenarios were replicated 20 times each, yielding 2,560 measurements. Post-transfer surface and food samples were analyzed for contamination.

The results:
Watermelon had the most contamination of the four foods tested. This was not surprising since the wetter the food, the higher the risk of bacteria transfer.
The gummy candy had the least contamination.
Carpet had very low transfer rates of bacteria compared with tile or stainless steel. Wood was more variable. The topography of the surface played an important role in bacterial transfer.

The longer the dropped food remained in contact with the surface, the greater the number of bacteria that adhered to it. The takeaway: "The five-second rule is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food," Schaffner said. "Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously."

FEEL THE UP BEAT

(Men's Health) These tricks will absolutely work:

Appraise your pessimism level

Twice a day, take five minutes to write down your thoughts as they come to you. Don't analyze; just jot them down. Psychologist Tim Sharp, Ph.D., says this helps build awareness of negative thought patterns. After all, he says, "you can't change something if you don't know what it is."

Rethink the repercussions

Blindsided by bad luck? Consider all conceivable positive outcomes of an adverse event. If you've lost your job, for example, instead of regarding it as a financial blow, try to think of it as a new opportunity to find a better job. Got dumped? Now you're free to return Sofia Vergara's calls.

Snap Out of it literally

Put a rubber and on your wrist. When you notice negative or self-destructive thoughts dragging you into a spiral of pessimism, simply snap the rubber band. Psychologists say a small dose of pain serves as a cue to make you more aware of entrenched thought patterns so you can change them.

Add color to your meals

Harvard study reports that optimist have higher blood levels of carotenoids than pessimist. These antioxidants are found in colorful produce, so eat red, yellow, and orange vegetables. The theory is that optimism fosters healthy diet habits. But who knows? Maybe vice versa is also true.

WEIRD NEWS

The Pill That Talks to Your Phone

In an unprecedented step to ensure that patients with mental disorders take the medicine prescribed for them, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system. The drug Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia. Now it comes with an ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital Health, and the FDA says it "works by sending a message from the pill's sensor to a wearable patch," which sends data to a smartphone app that can be accessed by doctors and patients. The patch that the pill communicates with can also track activity levels and sleep patterns. Dr. Mitchell Mathis of the FDA says officials support the "use of new technology in prescription drugs and [are] committed to working with companies to understand how the new technology might benefit patients and prescribers." The tiny chip inside the pill contains minerals including silicon and copper that end up passing through a patient's digestive tract normally, the Wall Street Journal reports. Proteus Chief Executive Andrew Thompson says the chip is completely safe to consume and contains no more silicon than a banana. (Wall Street Journal)

No More Selfies with Hitler

It's kind of an interactive wax museum with visual effects. It's called the De Mata Trick Eye Museum; it's in Indonesia, and the folks who run it are sick of tourists taking selfies with Hitler. So the waxwork of the Nazi leader, set against a giant image of the Auschwitz extermination camp, has removed after outrage from Jewish and human rights groups. The museum, which has waxworks of about 80 famous people, had the Hitler figure on display since 2014. It initially defended the exhibit as "fun" and said it was one of the most popular waxworks with visitors. But now that oh-so-fun exhibit is gone. Presumedly to make room for the new Saddam Hussein exhibit? (Newser)

The Joy of Being a Public Defender

Like Chicago doesn't already have enough problems... but it seems public masturbation is so rampant in Chicago's Cook County Jail that female public defenders are now suing. Apparently, officials even offered inmates pizza to try to get them to stop. Hundreds of female public defenders and law clerks working at the jail and other lockups have had to endure "on an almost daily basis" inmates who repeatedly exposed their genitals, masturbated, and engaged in other acts of vulgar sex-based aggression, along with threats and harassment. The legal action filed last week says authorities have done little to stop the "heinous sexual misconduct." Efforts to curb the behavior have failed, including offering detainees pizza if they went 30 days without pleasuring themselves. Jumpsuits preventing access to genitals also didn't work: Wearers burned them in microwaves, per the suit. Calling themselves "Savage Life," ringleaders organize the harassment and award "points" for each offense. A Cook County Sheriff's Office rep denies the pizza story but did say that "this kind of behavior unfortunately is prevalent in correctional settings." She says more than 200 of the 6,400 inmates have been charged with indecent exposure this year, but she adds that being slapped with a misdemeanor means little to men facing murder raps. Pizza??? I have a large pair of garden sheers that I guarantee you will put an abrupt stop that stuff in about two snips! (Reuters)

Wine-Maybe Older Than You Think

No doubt about it-humans love wine and have been drinking it for thousands of years. We just didn't know how many thousands of years until now. A new discovery just south of Tbilisi (near Turkey) dates wine making as early as 8,000 years ago! Per a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archaeologists found 8,000-year-old pottery shards indicating wine was once made there in earthenware jars, as early as 5980BC - the earliest evidence ever of grape-based wine production. The jars also featured images of grapes and a man dancing. Scientists believe the jars may have been stored underground during the fermentation process and, based on an intact jar found at a site nearby, were so large they could fit about 400 of today's wine bottles. Because wine wasn't crucial to living in Stone Age times, one scientist tells National Geographic that the find shows "far greater sophistication" during that time period than previously suspected. China still holds the overall booze record, however: Evidence there for a boozy rice-and-honey based concoction dates back to 7000BC. (BBC)

83 Students Cheat with GroupMe

Want to cheat on your college exam? Unfortunately, there's an app for that. Ohio State University has charged 83 undergraduates with cheating by using the group messaging app GroupMe to cheat on assignments in a business class last year. The school's Committee on Academic Misconduct says it investigated claims made by a professor at the Fisher College of Business in April and determined that the students committed several violations, including "unauthorized collaboration on graded assignments." GroupMe is an app that allows people to chat with large groups of users simultaneously, and it is permitted for use by students, according to OSU rules. It is ranked 14th among social-networking apps in the Apple Store. Punishment for the 83 students could run the gamut, from formal reprimands to expulsion. Again, I have a large pair of garden sheers that I guarantee you will put an abrupt stop that stuff in about two snips! (Columbus Dispatch)

Two Photos-Worth $105K?

The Museum of Modern Art has an odd mystery on its hands. First, somebody stole two photos of performance artist Carolee Schneemann worth $105,000 from a museum annex in Queens. Then somebody mailed them back, good as new. Now the NYPD has released surveillance video of the young woman believed to have done the mailing and is trying to track her down. Police traced the package with the photos back to a shipping store in Brooklyn, and the video shows a woman with a dark cap and glasses carrying the package into the store. They don't know whether the woman was involved in the theft itself, what prompted the change of heart, or how the theft happened in the first place. Police also say there were no signs of forced entry, and the photos were returned less than a week later. I'd like someone to investigate how two photographs of some performance artist nobody's ever heard of are somehow worth more than my Aunt Hazel's house!!!??? (People)

No Good Deed?

They were twin sisters and they stopped to help a stranded motorist on a Florida highway. Marcasia and Markwonda Crenshaw, both 25, were driving back to Boynton Beach after visiting their mom in Jacksonville. As Marcasia drove them along I-95, with Marcasia's 5-year-old son and Markwonda's 2-year-old daughter dozing in their car seats, the sisters saw a disabled Dodge Sprinter just outside of Titusville, its emergency lights blinking, smoke pouring out, and its air bags deployed. The driver of that vehicle was 23-year-old Yuri Kosolapenko, who'd been involved in a crash. Markwonda said, "We pulled over to make sure everyone was OK. Who wouldn't?" But as the sisters neared Kosolapenko's vehicle, 23-year-old Dalton Vancor drove by in his Chevy pickup truck and had to "aggressively brake and swerve" to avoid the Sprinter pulled over in an inside lane. Both sisters tried to get out of the truck's way, but police say the right side of the truck hit Marcasia - killing her. Markwonda says, "I can't eat, can't sleep, crying, I'm just in disbelief." She added that the only things keeping her going are her daughter and Marcasia's son. (Sun Sentinel)

What the What?

Meanwhile in India, a teenager has learned the hard way that an elephant's trunk is not for climbing. The boy is said to have been trying to recreate a scene from the Indian blockbuster movie Baahubali where the hero in the film runs up an elephant's trunk onto its back. But the elephant in our story had very different ideas and as soon as the boy grabbed the trunk, the elephant threw the boy so hard he sailed through the air and landed unconscious on the forest floor. He eventually came to and is reportedly going to be okay. Hey Mr. Elephant, doesn't sound like you need them, but let me know if you want to borrow some garden sheers. (Metro)

DID YOU KNOW?

  • One on four of us will appear on TV in our lifetime. 
  • 40% of adults in a recent survey admit they drink out of a milk carton at home, but only when no one is around. 
  • One in five men always take a hair-dryer on vacation. 
  • After money, lunch is the top reward employers give their employees. 
  • When you're struggling to get through the day, brushing your teeth can boost your energy level by 30%. 
  • A survey says it takes about 25 years for a person to appreciate their siblings.

TODAY'S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION

For a family of four, it takes an average of four minutes to do this. What is it? Order at a restaurant.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Some pieces of pottery were found over in Georgia (former Soviet Union) that contained wine residue that was over 8,000 years old. 
  • First it was Keurig. Now, Volvo has pulled its ads from Sean Hannity's program for his comments on Alabama's Senate Candidate Roy Moore. 
  • Former vice president Joe Biden's new memoir, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose," came out yesterday. 
  • Amazon.com has bought the global television rights to "The Lord of the Rings," the company said on Monday, in what may be its biggest and most expensive move yet to draw viewers to its streaming service Prime. 
  • A body was found Tuesday morning in the same Tampa neighborhood where three other people have died recently. Police fear a serial killer is at work. 
  • Parks Associates' holiday shopping research shows millennials will lead the smart home and Consumer Electronics device purchasing the holiday season, with 46% reporting high intentions to buy at least one device and 36% planning to give one as a gift. Video door bells and voice-enabled speakers are popular smart home gifts. 
  • Uber has signed a deal with NASA to develop "Uber Elevate," a new type of Uber that will use flying cars. They hope to have them in service by 2020. 
  • Men's Health reports that people who get flu shots also see their stroke risk drop 18 percent. One theory: By boosting immunity to the flu, inflammatory blood proteins are reduced, so clots are less likely. 
  • Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and the female cast of "One Tree Hill" joined with the show's crew to write a letter accusing show creator Mark Schwahn of "traumatizing" sexual harassment on the set. 
  • We now find out that Jordin Sparks got married back in July to her boyfriend and the two are expecting their first child. 
  • Topher Grace is a dad. Eric from "That 70s Show" and his wife have welcomed Mabel Jane Grace into the world. 
  • Weight Watchers has unveiled its new line of diet wine called Cense, starting with a with a sauvignon blanc that has only 85 calories to a glass, versus the typical 120. 

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Bridge repair requires weekend restrictions and closures on Interstate 17, Seventh Avenue beginning Friday, Nov. 17

Crews begin task of replacing damaged girder Southbound Interstate 17 will be narrowed to one or two lanes as needed at Seventh Avenue near ...