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Crews ready for 'alligator season' on Valley freeways

PHOENIX -- Arizona Department of Transportation crews will be scrambling to keep up with the rubber from shredded tires on the road during the summer.

Hot freeways take a big toll on tires and can peel them like a banana.

"We call it 'alligator season' because our crews are reminded of alligators and it's an important time of the year for drivers to be paying close attention," said ADOT's Doug Nintzel.

Shredded tires are dangerous not only to the car's owner but to those who might run over them later. Nintzel said a lot of work goes into keeping the freeways clear of the these tire remains.

"We have maintenance crews patrolling the freeways daily looking for the material and moving it off to the shoulder ahead of the overnight sweeping that takes place," he said.

In cases involving large chunks of tire tread, DPS officers will perform a rolling closure until ADOT crews can clear the freeway.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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