BLM Clearing Brush Along I-8 To Reduce Smuggling

March 04, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management has begun a brush-clearing project along Interstate 8 east of Gila Bend.

The operation, called Project Daylight, is an effort to remove the cover used by human and drug smugglers along I-8. BLM says it will clear brush and trees that are often used by smugglers to transfer cargo to vehicles for further distribution.

Crews will be working the next couple weeks to prune or remove dense vegetation from a six-mile area along the interstate. Motorists should be aware of possible shoulder closures and that intermittent lane closures could be needed.

The area where the work is being done is in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, which is bisected by I-8. The effort is aimed at improving visibility along the highway, eliminating places for people involved in criminal activities to hide, and improve natural resources that have been damaged by illegal activity.

BLM eventually plans to remove brush from a 42-mile area from near Gila Bend east to about Stanfield.  The timetable for that has not been set.