PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Three major Phoenix freeways at the Mini-Stack interchange have reopened in Phoenix Wednesday morning after police investigated a suspicious package that turned out to be a 'traffic-counting device'.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety had closed the following freeways at the Mini-Stack:
• Westbound Interstate 10
• Southbound State Route 51
• Westbound Loop 202
The freeways were closed for nearly an hour while police investigated a suspicious package near I-10 at 16th Street but have since reopened.
DPS's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit responded and determined that the item was not a threat.
DPS later said that the package was actually a traffic-counting device.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) said the equipment was placed at the location by a contractor working for MAG.
According to MAG, the contractor secured all appropriate permits and placed the counter equipment on the freeway Tuesday morning.
“MAG believes the contractor followed all of the appropriate permitting processes,” said MAG executive director Eric Anderson. “We are looking at the chain of events to determine how the misunderstanding may have occurred. All of the agencies involved are committed to ensuring this regrettable situation is never repeated. We apologize to all of the motorists who were inconvenienced by the freeway closures.”
The traffic counter collects information about traffic volumes for future planning, engineering.
MAG has five counters in use in the Phoenix area: On Interstate 10 (2 locations), Interstate 17, State Route 51 and Loop 101.
ADOT released the following statement to Arizona's Family on Wednesday afternoon: "Based on this morning’s events, ADOT will reevaluate how we work with partners on placement of traffic counters and similar devices to ensure that information is available on where they are located in case of questions or concerns. Individual locations and installation dates may be required, rather than the open-ended blanket permits that currently provide placement authorization."
Get the latest traffic information here.
All freeways are now open in the vicinity of interstate 10 and 16th street.— Dept. Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) April 10, 2019
Both directions if I-10 are closed at 12th St in downtown Phoenix. Additional closures of the SR-51 southbound approaching the mini-stack are occurring as well. This is for a police situation and is not a suicidal subject. No ETA to reopen.— Dept. Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) April 10, 2019