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Phoenix freeways reopen after suspicious item is deemed safe

April 10, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a suspicious item found next to a sign post along Interstate 10 turned out to be traffic counting equipment.

The device had been placed at the location Tuesday by a contractor working for the Maricopa Association of Governments.

MAG officials say they routinely work with a licensed contractor to conduct such counts, usually every 2 to 4 years.

Portions of three freeways in central Phoenix were closed for over an hour during the Wednesday morning commute while authorities investigated the item.

The closure near downtown was lifted after the state Department of Public Safety bomb squad determined the item was not a threat.

The closure caused extensive traffic backups on the affected freeways, which also included State Routes 51 and 202.