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PHOENIX -- About 700,000 Arizonans will take to the roads and skies over the Memorial Day weekend, Triple-A of Arizona said.

The holiday is viewed as the beginning of the summer travel season. The Arizona Department of Transportation is expecting heavy traffic on Valley freeways on Friday, especially on Interstate 17, Interstate 10 and State Route 87.

"It's so important for drivers to be careful," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT. "Pack the patience because you'll be sharing the roads with alot of people."

To ease holiday travel, ADOT will not schedule any construction closures along state highways over the extended weekend.

Eight people died during last year's Memorial Day weekend on highways and local streets in Arizona. Five of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related, claiming the lives of six people.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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