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U.S. Highway 191

This map shows the proposed 1966 reroute of U.S. Highway 191. Only the first few miles (in purple) were ever constructed - the green line reflects a survey line only. ADOT had this route on the books up until 1997, when the right-of-way was relinquished. The map does not convey how rough the terrain along the proposed route is. The northern end of this map is at Milepost 195.

U.S. 191 is the main north-south corridor in Eastern Arizona. Replacing old U.S. 666 between Douglas and Sanders in 1992, U.S. 191 became a transcontinental federal route when it was extended north to Malta, Montana, in 1997. For more, see U.S. 191 (Wyoming).

U.S. Highway 191 was established in 1932 as U.S. Highway 666 from U.S. Highway 80 near Douglas, north through Willcox and Safford to Springerville, then north to Sanders and U.S. Highway 66, where the road traveled east into New Mexico as a multiplex. The road was paved slowly, and the Coronado Trail section between Clifton and Alpine was not completely paved until 1963.

Former U.S. Highway 666 was extended south from Douglas to the Mexican Border in 1961, but was truncated back to U.S. 80 in 1971. In 1971, the remaining short section to the Border was renumbered to Business U.S. 666, and changed to Business U.S. 191 in 1992.

U.S. Highway 191 is a scenic road between Clifton and Alpine, but one to be taken slowly. Some observers have counted over 400 curves along the 90 miles of road between the two, most of which must be taken at 25 MPH or less.

The section of U.S. 191 north of Clifton was rerouted in 1974 due to growth at the Morenci mine. It is still known as a Temporary route, with plans to further realign it due to the growth of the Morenci open-pit mine. In 1968, Arizona DOT started work on a realignment of the road, but abandoned it after only a few miles due to terrain and financial issues. Arizona DOT still wants to realign the road north of Clifton past the Morenci mine, but it remains to be seen whether it happens without financial assistance from Freeport McMoran.

U.S. 191 in Arizona only travels between Arizona 80 at Douglas and U.S. 160 at Mexican Hat. From U.S. Highway 160 north into Utah, the five miles of highway are designated Indian Route 12 and maintained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. No U.S. 191 signposts are found along this road southbound from Utah to U.S. 160.

U.S. 191 Arizona Highway Guides

Interstate 40 east & U.S. 191 south
Reassurance marker for Interstate 40 and U.S. 191. Photo taken 06/28/08.
Distance sign to U.S. 191 southbound (5 miles), Gallup (47 miles) and Albuquerque (187 miles). Photo taken 06/28/08.
Advance signage for exit 339 serving Sanders. Exit 339 is also U.S. 191 southbound. Photo taken 06/28/08.
U.S. 191 southbound departs here at exit 339. U.S. 191 travels south to St. Johns and Springerville, then becomes the infamous Coronado Trail. Photo taken 06/28/08.
Perspective from Southbound U.S. 191
U.S. Highway 191 ends at Arizona 80 (former U.S. Highway 80). There is a business loop of U.S. Highway 191 that leaves Arizona 80 in Douglas - to access the business loop and Douglas, turn left on Arizona 80. Photos taken 05/24/03.
Perspective of Business U.S. 191 in Douglas
This is a view of Business U.S. 191 along Pan American Avenue in Douglas. Photo taken 05/24/03.
Northbound Business U.S. 191 at Junction Arizona 80/G Street in Douglas. Photo taken 05/24/03.

Southern end of Business U.S. 191 at the International Border with Mexico in Douglas. Photo taken 05/24/03.

Sources:

  1. Minutes of the State Highway Commission. 3/5/1968. Arizona Highway Commission.
Photo Credits:
    2003-05-24 by AARoads. 2008-06-28 by Kevin Trinkle.

Connect with:
Interstate 10
U.S. Highway 160
Arizona 80 / Historic U.S. 80

Page Updated 02-15-2012.

 
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