What Is an Arizona Crossing?

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An Arizona crossing is a simple type of bridge common in the dry Southwestern United States. Also known as fords, the natural version seen most often in Arizona is a road crossing one of the state's many dry riverbeds.

Definition

  • An Arizona crossing is a type of road crossing that allows a waterway to run over a road. Man-made Arizona crossings include culverts that allow water to pass through a paved roadway.

Uses

  • Because of Arizona's lack of lakes and rivers, bridge and drainage infrastructure was not as necessary as in other states. The Arizona crossing allows for low-level water to overflow directly onto a road. When water levels rise, the water will pass over the road, but it happens rarely enough not to impede vehicle traffic.

Warning

  • During Arizona's late-summer monsoon season, dry rivers can fill with rainwater, flooding rural roads and city streets. From the perspective of driving a vehicle, it can be difficult to judge the depth of water on the road.

Fun Fact

  • In 1995, the Arizona State Legislature passed a law requiring motorists who drive into flooded roadways financially responsible for any emergency response needed to rescue the driver and his vehicle. Arizona Revised Statute 28-910 is known as Arizona's "Stupid Motorist Law."

Worldwide Reference

  • Arizona crossings are prevalent in European countries. With river access being a strategic point for armies, many battles were fought on or near European fords.

References

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