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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

While I appreciate Robert D. Parks’ interest in the pilot dust detection and warning system ADOT is installing between Eloy and Picacho Peak (ADOT recycling our tax money again, July 25), please allow me to set the record straight on this state-of-the-art technology versus the warning signs he correctly notes were installed along I-10 decades ago.

ADOT retired the signs Mr. Parks refers to in the 1980s as development along I-10 reduced areas prone to blowing dust and it became infeasible to maintain the bulky, outdated 1970s technology that made the signs work. There is simply no comparison between those signs and the advanced system ADOT will test using dust sensors, variable speed limit signs, overhead message boards to carry warnings and closed-circuit cameras allowing traffic operators in Phoenix to monitor conditions.

In the test area, dust storms move in quickly, posing a serious safety risk to the increasing number of people traveling between Casa Grande and Tucson. ADOT’s challenge has been developing a system that will operate and respond just as quickly. Leveraging cutting-edge technology is allowing us to install and test a system that has promise for other highway stretches prone to dangerous blowing dust.

Brent Cain

Director, Transportation Systems

Management and Operations

Arizona Department of

Transportation

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