Rooster, people heading out of town cause huge backup on NB I-17

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PHOENIX -- There is very heavy holiday traffic outbound from the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Motorists traveling to the various recreation areas in the high country and area lakes should plan on heavy traffic and greatly increased travel times.

I-17 backup

People heading out of town cause huge backup on NB I-17 - The Department of Public Safety is advising people to avoid northbound Interstate 17 approached Loop 101 if at all possible.

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Early Friday afternoon, officers reported a 10-mile backup on northbound Interstate 17 from Loop 101 to the Carefree Highway, likely due to people trying to get out of town for the holiday weekend.

No wrecks were reported in the area, but there was, however, a rooster that was trying to cross the northbound lanes of the freeway just south of the Carefree Highway at about 11 a.m. That rooster was at least partially responsible for the backup.

DPS was able to safely retrieve the rooster and get traffic moving again at about 11 :40 a.m.

While the backup was clearing, traffic remains heavy.

Traffic on State Route 87 into Payson was heavy, as well, along with traffic to the lakes.

DPS offers a few suggestions to those hitting the road to go out of town or to a local recreation area this weekend.

DPS recommends motorists to carry plenty of water, some food and a first aid kit.

Carry a cell phone or some device to communicate with in case you experience a break down.

If you do experience a tire or mechanical failure, pull off of the road as far as possible.

First try to contact your motor club if you have one or a local tow or road side service company by utilizing 411.

DPS will respond to assist motorists, but with a higher volume of calls on a holiday weekend, that response may be extended.

DPS Officers do not carry gas cans or extra fuel, due to the fire hazard, for those who run out, nor do we carry mechanical tools for roadside repairs.

Drive sober, DPS will be out in force looking for impaired drivers this weekend.