DPS: Traffic-counting device to blame for morning freeway shutdown in Phoenix

Posted at 7:58 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 22:44:02-04

PHOENIX — Drivers can blame a traffic-counting device for the closures of three Valley freeways on Wednesday morning.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, one of their workers spotted the suspicious device near a traffic pole in the area of Interstate 10 and 16th Street.

ADOT called in the device to the Department of Public Safety around 7 a.m., prompting DPS to alert the bomb squad.

DPS confirmed the suspicious package that shut down the mini-stack freeways of I-10 westbound, SR-51 southbound, and SR-202 westbound, was a "traffic counting device." According to ADOT, the device belonged to a contractor of the Maricopa Association of Governments.

Video from the scene on Wednesday morning showed items next to a traffic pole in the area of I-10 and 16th Street.

As a precaution, all of the area freeways were shut down in both directions, leading to major delays across Valley freeways for morning commuters.

The DPS Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit came in with a robot and determined the item was not a threat.

The freeway was reopened around 9 a.m.