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Updated Nov 6, 2013 - 11:22 am

Arizona agency to study climate change's effects on roads

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation is launching a yearlong study on the impact of climate change on the state's freeways.

In Arizona, climate trends could include a growing number of unusually intense storm events. More severe dust storms, long term drought, flooding and mega wildfires could overwhelm the infrastructure.

The study will focus on Interstates 10, 17 and 19, and also, "We're going to be looking at bridges, roadways and more," said department spokeswoman Laura Douglas.

It could be years before major changes come to the state's highways. The study is a starting point.

"This will be a combination of boots on the ground, studies, workshops and working with other agencies and stakeholders" Douglas said.

ADOT received $125,000 for the pilot program from the Federal Highway Administration. A total of 19 agencies nationwide are taking part in the study.

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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