Please make this to the attention of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
I would like to comment about the recent closure of Highway 87.
We were traveling to Mesa from Albuquerque, N.M., and had made this beautiful trip several times in the past.
The sign going south of Payson did not indicate quickly enough that unless you were a resident south of this point that you could not continue to Mesa/Phoenix due to the closure.
You should have considered orange cones to bar the highway entrance, but allowed the residents to pass.
If we had advance notice we would of made arrangements to go through Flagstaff. As it turns out, our six-hour drive took 10 hours. It was very difficult with our children wondering why it was taking so long.
The signs should of stated several miles prior to Payson that "effective 7-22-05 Highway 87 is closed due to a forest fire."
I wanted you to know that you should do a better job of informing drivers with several signs.
You should have let us know way ahead of time what we were going to face. This would include a sign at Holbrook where drivers begin their scenic drive to Mesa/Phoenix.
We were very disappointed that we were so close to our destination but yet so far.
I just had to let you know our situation and hopefully it was somewhat of a lesson for the future. We saw many drivers in the same boat as we were, having to divert all the way north to 260 then west to I-17. What a waste of time. If only we had known.
Therese Wing, Albuquerque, N.M.