The Pinal County Board of Supervisors are officially calling on the state transportation department and other leaders to improve safety on Interstate 10.
“Pinal County encourages ADOT and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to identify and implement all appropriate safety countermeasures on I-10 within the boundaries of Pinal County,” according to a resolution passed Wednesday by the Board.
Statistics show there have been nearly 5,000 crashes that have injured or killed more than 300 people on the stretch of interstate from 2007 to 2016.
The resolution follows a series of ABC15 investigations into crossover crashes on Interstate 10 and a lack of cable median barriers.
ABC15 has learned that cable barriers were one of the main safety countermeasures Pinal officials would like to see.
“It’s a dangerous stretch of road, and it’s just too much traffic. It’s not safe,” said Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland in a previous interview with ABC15. “We need to do whatever we can to make (residents) safe. And if (cable barriers) help, then it’s worth it.”
McFarland also has written a letter in support of Mike Humphrey, who lost his wife and sister in a cross-median crash in 2008.
Humphrey has been publicly calling for the installation of cable barriers on I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson. Currently, there are almost no median barriers on the busy stretch of highway.
To raise awareness, Humphrey has been speaking at state transportation board hearings and reaching out to local leaders across the region, including the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.
In late May, an ABC15 Operation Safe Roads investigation revealed that nearly 150 cross-median crashes have occurred on the interstate on a pair of 20-mile stretches between Phoenix and Tucson since 2001.
Those crashes have led to at least 150 injuries and 46 deaths.
ADOT believes installing cable barriers on Interstate 10 and other Arizona highways will cause more harm than good.
Steven Boschen, an ADOT assistant director, said that cross-median crashes are rare and unpredictable, accounting for about one percent of fatalities.
He also said the interstate’s 80-foot dirt medians are the safest option out there.
“By putting up cable barriers we would be causing more harm than good,” Boschen said. “If we put a barrier out there, we are just introducing more harm. A barrier is actually a hazard, and there would be more crashes.”
Take a look at each of the believed crossover incidents along the specified mileposts of the I-10 in the map below. These points span from 2001 to May of 2018.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.