ADOT reopens Interstate 10 near New Mexico state line after crashes, blowing dust

Posted at 2:28 PM, Feb 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 01:33:59-05

Blowing dust once again led to the closure of a swath of Interstate 10 in southeast Arizona.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, both directions of I-10 were closed between San Simon and Lordsburg, New Mexico just before 1 p.m. due to blowing dust and crashes involving several vehicles. The interstate reopened to traffic around 4:15 p.m.

Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service in Tucson issued a Blowing Dust Advisory for the same area.

Officials said there were three crashes on that stretch of highway involving a total of eight vehicles. Two people suffered minor injuries in the collisions, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. At least one crash involved a semi truck.

Eastbound traffic was detoured on US 191 to US 70, rejoining I-10 in Lordsburg. Westbound traffic exited at Lordsburg and take the same route in reverse to get back on the interstate.

The closure impacts the same stretch of I-10 that was closed multiple times last year and cost the state more than $600,000 to try and stabilize the dust blowing off the land of a wealthy farmer.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality eventually turned to a product called Gorilla Snot to try and tame the dusty land.

It was unclear if Sunday's closure was due to dust blowing off the same property. Officials did not have an estimated time for when the interstate would reopen.