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Author Topic: Arizona's "X" Routes  (Read 3330 times)

707

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Arizona's "X" Routes
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:25:14 AM »

First off here's a little piece on US 191X. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of people that already know about this. I want to put this post out there for those who aren't familiar with it and I want to discuss this anomaly and technicality as I think it's interesting. The topic is US 191 around Morenci being discontinuous. ADOT defines US 191 in both maintained mileage and the state-recognized designation as being discontinuous from just northwest of Morenci at milepost 173.00 to the intersection of US 191 and Zorilla Street in Morenci proper. The route in between, while recognized as US 191 by AASHTO, is not recognized as mainline US 191 by ADOT. Instead, ADOT places a bannered route in its location. Internally referred to as US 191X and by Arizona Transportation Information System (ATIS) code as UX191, this section of the old highway, cutting through the open-pit mine in Morenci is signed and referenced in the field as US 191 Temporary (US 191T). Anyway, back to US 191 through Morenci. The plan, as I understand, is to eventually build a new more modern alignment that bypasses the pit altogether, which has been on the backburner for several years. Though I would not be surprised if this project stayed on the back burner for the next decade. ADOT has trouble widening US 93 to four lanes without delays, let alone actually getting around to rebuilding US 191 in a very remote area of the state. So, that said, what's everyone's thoughts on the unusual anomaly that is US 191T/US 191X?

And now onto the main topic, the "X" suffixed routes. ADOT and several other government agencies use the Arizona Transportation Information System (ATIS) coding and terminology when discussing or listing highways in Arizona within planning and technical documents. Or at least that's the case with some agencies around Pima County and ADOT in regards to GIS data and State Highway Logs. The "X" suffix at the end of highway designations using ATIS or ADOT terminology actually means "Temporary", whereas the general road enthusiast public likes to use the suffix "T". US 191X (US 191T) is a prime example of an expected use of a temporary route, being temporary in the case of acting as the main corridor until the dedicated corridor is completed. US 89X (US 89T) is another example. The "X" routes in Arizona also have a second use, which is basically the same as the "U" routes in California: remnants of older state highways or highway routings that have never been abandoned/handed over to other jurisdictions. There's actually quite a few of these in Arizona.

The most well-known example is US 60X in Phoenix and Apache Junction, sections of the Pre-Superstition Freeway route of US 60 never turned over to local jurisdictions and still maintained by ADOT to this day.

US 93X in Wickenburg is another "X" route believe it or not. That route is Tegner Street between US 60 and current US 93. US 93X is, of course, the older route of US 93 prior to the interim Wickenburg bypass that US 93 now takes along the Hassayampa River around downtown.

US 93 has a second "X" route at the Nevada State Line. SR 93X. What's odd about this route is despite it being a spawn of US 93, it has a State Route designation, which means it's technically a section of SR 93. ADOT Highway Logs and GIS data confirm this. SR 93X is Kingman Wash Access Road, the original path of US 93 over the Hoover Dam, replaced when the Pat Tillman-Mike O'Callaghan Memorial Bridge was completed. So yes, ADOT still maintains the old section of US 93 going up to the Hoover Dam and over it and it has not been abandoned to the Federal Government or Mojave County.

A historic example of an "X" route is SR 85X, now known as MC 85, Buckeye Road, 17th Avenue and Van Buren Street. I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the SR 85/Papago Freeway story. Following the completion of the Papago Freeway and re-routing of SR 85 onto the former spur route, the path of SR 85X that had previously acted as US 80 to Grand Avenue, was redesignated SR 85X. This route actually shows up in the 1998 State Highway Log. SR 85X was gradually abandoned and handed over to local jurisdictions until the last section was given to the City of Phoenix in 2002.

And lastly, the infamous US 89T/N20 route, put into place following the landslide at Page, was internally designated US 89X.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 08:58:35 AM »

Wasn’t there once a AZ 89L in Page also?  Regarding the X routes it’s a solid way to log unrelinquished mileage for internal purposes.  Regarding the Morenci Mine and Coronado Trail the folks ADOT will need to come up with something.  Moving US 191 into New Mexico and back via AZ 78 had a lot of backlash when that was floated recently.  Personally I have a lot of fondness for the current Route of US 191 over the Coronado Trail but eventually the mine is going to want the land that highway presently sits on. 
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707

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 03:12:17 PM »

Wasn’t there once a AZ 89L in Page also?  Regarding the X routes it’s a solid way to log unrelinquished mileage for internal purposes.  Regarding the Morenci Mine and Coronado Trail the folks ADOT will need to come up with something.  Moving US 191 into New Mexico and back via AZ 78 had a lot of backlash when that was floated recently.  Personally I have a lot of fondness for the current Route of US 191 over the Coronado Trail but eventually the mine is going to want the land that highway presently sits on.
Indeed. It all comes down to funding. Arizona can't even get the money together to widen US 93 fast enough, let alone convert it to Interstate standards. And yes, there was once an SR 89L. I think that was the only time ADOT ever commissioned what they consider to be "State Loop Routes" or "L" Routes. Surprisingly, Interstate Business Routes and the Phoenix area loops are not considered "True Loops" by the state. ADOT considers SR 101, SR 202 and SR 303 to be unsuffixed state routes and Interstate Busines Loops to be State Business Routes or "B" Routes like SR 79B in Florence.

There was also an SR 89T south of Page. That is a rare example of a State Truck Route or "T" Route. Since the ATIS uses T as a suffix for Truck routes, "X" has to be used for Temporary/Unrelinquished routes.

VS988
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 03:15:14 PM by 707 »
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 04:09:42 PM »

There was also an SR 89T south of Page. That is a rare example of a State Truck Route or "T" Route. Since the ATIS uses T as a suffix for Truck routes, "X" has to be used for Temporary/Unrelinquished routes. VS988

Back in the late '60s, there was an AZ 69T that was considered a Temporary route.  It ran down 40th St. south from I-10, then down Baseline Rd. through south Phoenix and Tempe to Country Club Dr. (then-AZ 87/93) in Mesa.  It served as a connector/bypass of I-10 while the Broadway Curve was being built.  It remained signed as 69T (as opposed to "Temporary 69) until at least 1975, long after the full length of I-10 had opened between Phoenix and Tucson.

AZ 69 itself never went that far south.  Even in its original pre-Black Canyon Freeway routing on 51st. Ave, it ended at the 6-way intersection with Grand Ave. (then US 60-70-89/AZ 93), and Bethany Home Rd. in Glendale.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 04:23:30 PM »

There was also an SR 89T south of Page. That is a rare example of a State Truck Route or "T" Route. Since the ATIS uses T as a suffix for Truck routes, "X" has to be used for Temporary/Unrelinquished routes. VS988

Back in the late '60s, there was an AZ 69T that was considered a Temporary route.  It ran down 40th St. south from I-10, then down Baseline Rd. through south Phoenix and Tempe to Country Club Dr. (then-AZ 87/93) in Mesa.  It served as a connector/bypass of I-10 while the Broadway Curve was being built.  It remained signed as 69T (as opposed to "Temporary 69) until at least 1975, long after the full length of I-10 had opened between Phoenix and Tucson.

AZ 69 itself never went that far south.  Even in its original pre-Black Canyon Freeway routing on 51st. Ave, it ended at the 6-way intersection with Grand Ave. (then US 60-70-89/AZ 93), and Bethany Home Rd. in Glendale.

Speaking T routes US 60 had one co-signed on AZ 73 between Fort Apache and San Carlos as the Salt River Canyon Route was being built.  That would have been one hell of a wild ride out on those dirt roads of the San Carlos Reservation back in the 1930s. 
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707

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 06:37:01 PM »

There was also an SR 89T south of Page. That is a rare example of a State Truck Route or "T" Route. Since the ATIS uses T as a suffix for Truck routes, "X" has to be used for Temporary/Unrelinquished routes. VS988

Back in the late '60s, there was an AZ 69T that was considered a Temporary route.  It ran down 40th St. south from I-10, then down Baseline Rd. through south Phoenix and Tempe to Country Club Dr. (then-AZ 87/93) in Mesa.  It served as a connector/bypass of I-10 while the Broadway Curve was being built.  It remained signed as 69T (as opposed to "Temporary 69) until at least 1975, long after the full length of I-10 had opened between Phoenix and Tucson.

AZ 69 itself never went that far south.  Even in its original pre-Black Canyon Freeway routing on 51st. Ave, it ended at the 6-way intersection with Grand Ave. (then US 60-70-89/AZ 93), and Bethany Home Rd. in Glendale.
Yeah. That makes sense. Although Temporary routes are internally designated "X" routes, they're still signed and referenced in the field as T routes. US 89X despite being referred to such on paper, was signed as US 89T.

I imagine SR 69T existed as a placeholder in hopes of extending SR 69 in the future at first, but once the Interstates came along, it defeated the purpose of extending the designation, in the first place, so it was used as a placeholder for I-10 instead.

Honestly, I think the internal "X" suffix only came about in 1988, when ADOT first started using GIS software. The 1998 Log suggests ATIS was introduced about the same time, so US 80 probably had an ATIS code in its last two years of existence within Arizona. US 666 however, did have one.

VS988
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707

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 07:44:02 PM »

In reply to Max:

True, but then again, almost every highway in the state was like that early on. Save for a small section from Flagstaff to Winona paved in the teens, what you said pretty much described US 66 up until the mid-30s.

VS988
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 10:51:32 PM »

In reply to Max:

True, but then again, almost every highway in the state was like that early on. Save for a small section from Flagstaff to Winona paved in the teens, what you said pretty much described US 66 up until the mid-30s.

VS988

Wasn't 66 mostly shifted to new paved alignments circa 31-33?  The 1935 State Highway Map shows the majority of US Route mileage as paved with a major exception being US 60T on what is now AZ 73 and AZ 260:



Regarding AZ 69 it is shown on a 1961 State Highway Map extending to US 80 on Buckeye Road:

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 11:29:25 PM »

Found a AZ 89L shield on Arizonaroads.com.  Somehow that site has survived the decades:

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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2019, 01:37:38 AM »

Found a AZ 89L shield on Arizonaroads.com.  Somehow that site has survived the decades:



Whatever happened to Alan Hamilton?  Hopefully all is well.
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707

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 05:48:16 AM »

I hope so too. In all honesty, I've debated starting my own Arizona highway website to follow in the spirit of Hamilton's work.
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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2019, 02:33:16 PM »

Wasn’t there once a AZ 89L in Page also?  Regarding the X routes it’s a solid way to log unrelinquished mileage for internal purposes.  Regarding the Morenci Mine and Coronado Trail the folks ADOT will need to come up with something.  Moving US 191 into New Mexico and back via AZ 78 had a lot of backlash when that was floated recently.  Personally I have a lot of fondness for the current Route of US 191 over the Coronado Trail but eventually the mine is going to want the land that highway presently sits on.

Best candidate to keep everyone happy would be the San Francisco River road north of Clifton; if paved, easily has 55+ mph design speed, with occasional reduction for curves. It would bypass the mine completely without seriously disrupting the overall route. The bottom mile can be tied in to existing US 191 at the train station with a relatively small amount of work. The north end currently dead ends at an unfinished hill cut (presumably the mine's property line) and would take some serious engineering to extend across the mountain. It seems neither the state, nor the mine can really justify that expense, so they just keep scooting the present highway around in the pit every few years.
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JKRhodes

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2019, 02:50:21 PM »

I hope so too. In all honesty, I've debated starting my own Arizona highway website to follow in the spirit of Hamilton's work.

I found his facebook page and sent him a friend request. Based on my digging and his visible posts he seems do be doing well; still in Arizona, programming computers. Out of respect for his privacy I'll let others dig around if they want to find him too.

Wikipedia has done a well enough job of providing informational needs on US routes. I miss the roadtrip logs, observations, and other "non-encyclopedic" content provided by Alan and most other road enthusiasts on their personal websites back in the day.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:04:03 PM by roadiejay »
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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2019, 02:24:39 AM »

Wasn't 66 mostly shifted to new paved alignments circa 31-33?  The 1935 State Highway Map shows the majority of US Route mileage as paved with a major exception being US 60T on what is now AZ 73 and AZ 260

What was the purpose of routing AZ 73 along that route at that point? Almost the entirety of that road was turned back to the Reservations after the completion of the 'modern' US 60. The only portion of 'old' AZ 73/US 60T that remained ran from AZ 260 to just west of the town of Fort Apache (at this modern 'junction' of Indian Route 9 and AZ 73). Even at it's south end, US 60T/AZ 73 became AZ 170 between the town of San Carlos and US 70 at Cutter - just east of Globe. From the looks of that map, AZ 73 never went north of Springerville anyway so - again - WHY?  :pan:
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2019, 09:05:57 AM »

Wasn't 66 mostly shifted to new paved alignments circa 31-33?  The 1935 State Highway Map shows the majority of US Route mileage as paved with a major exception being US 60T on what is now AZ 73 and AZ 260

What was the purpose of routing AZ 73 along that route at that point? Almost the entirety of that road was turned back to the Reservations after the completion of the 'modern' US 60. The only portion of 'old' AZ 73/US 60T that remained ran from AZ 260 to just west of the town of Fort Apache (at this modern 'junction' of Indian Route 9 and AZ 73). Even at it's south end, US 60T/AZ 73 became AZ 170 between the town of San Carlos and US 70 at Cutter - just east of Globe. From the looks of that map, AZ 73 never went north of Springerville anyway so - again - WHY?  :pan:

At the time it was probably the only established route through.  There was probably way worse mainline highways floating around at the same time.  US 66 was floating around on ATSF frontage roads until the 1930s as an example.  Just having a well signed road from one place to another was usually good enough for the time. 
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707

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2019, 07:41:10 PM »

Wasn't 66 mostly shifted to new paved alignments circa 31-33?  The 1935 State Highway Map shows the majority of US Route mileage as paved with a major exception being US 60T on what is now AZ 73 and AZ 260

What was the purpose of routing AZ 73 along that route at that point? Almost the entirety of that road was turned back to the Reservations after the completion of the 'modern' US 60. The only portion of 'old' AZ 73/US 60T that remained ran from AZ 260 to just west of the town of Fort Apache (at this modern 'junction' of Indian Route 9 and AZ 73). Even at it's south end, US 60T/AZ 73 became AZ 170 between the town of San Carlos and US 70 at Cutter - just east of Globe. From the looks of that map, AZ 73 never went north of Springerville anyway so - again - WHY?  :pan:

At the time it was probably the only established route through.  There was probably way worse mainline highways floating around at the same time.  US 66 was floating around on ATSF frontage roads until the 1930s as an example.  Just having a well signed road from one place to another was usually good enough for the time.
Max is right. The road was the only direct connection between Springerville and Globe. It was useful only until US 60 was finished. And SR 73 was never routed down SR 170. In San Carlos, SR 73 swung west on a reservation road to end at US 180 (later US 70) in Cutter, just east of Globe. SR 170 was a few miles of a previously decommissioned length of US 180 that had been abandoned as part of the State Highway System between 1928 and 1963, after US 180 was moved onto a more direct alignment bypassing San Carlos and Peridot. You either saved time taking SR 73 from US 180/US 70 out of Cutter to Springerville, or you had to take SR 81 from a junction halfway between Safford and Duncan to get from Globe to Springerville.

I believe SR 73 was the only route that made sense between both towns until the state government pulled away federal funds from improving US 66, US 80, US 89 and US 260 to build the replacement route of US 60. And let me tell you, half the state was not happy with the governor for that move.

VS988

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JKRhodes

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 11:02:09 AM »

US 191 just underwent a major reroute at the Morenci copper mine. The new alignment takes a more direct path through the pit, grade-separated from mining truck traffic at several points. The new road opened a week ago.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 01:02:33 PM »

US 191 just underwent a major reroute at the Morenci copper mine. The new alignment takes a more direct path through the pit, grade-separated from mining truck traffic at several points. The new road opened a week ago.

Any project maps that you’re aware of?  I would really like to see what the new alignment looks like. 
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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2019, 02:57:01 PM »

US 191 just underwent a major reroute at the Morenci copper mine. The new alignment takes a more direct path through the pit, grade-separated from mining truck traffic at several points. The new road opened a week ago.

Any project maps that you’re aware of?  I would really like to see what the new alignment looks like.

None so far... Strangely enough, I checked ADOT's news releases, and only found mention of the first phase of the project, which was completed almost a year ago. I'll have to keep digging and let you know if I find anything.
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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2019, 12:56:55 AM »

US 191 just underwent a major reroute at the Morenci copper mine. The new alignment takes a more direct path through the pit, grade-separated from mining truck traffic at several points. The new road opened a week ago.

Any project maps that you’re aware of?  I would really like to see what the new alignment looks like.

None so far... Strangely enough, I checked ADOT's news releases, and only found mention of the first phase of the project, which was completed almost a year ago. I'll have to keep digging and let you know if I find anything.

I have personally been looking and I cannot find anything additional either. If you find it please share! I've been looking to clench US 191 from Morenci to Springerville for a while.
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Re: Arizona's "X" Routes
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2020, 08:59:24 AM »

I still can find no mention of the later phases of this reroute... My best guess, since this portion of 191 (or 191X) runs on a temporary easement through the Morenci Mine property, and Freeport-McMoRan basically took on all the design and construction cost, is that the project got completed without going through its normal channels as far as news releases and ADOT publications are concerned.

Good luck if you ever decide to clench it, it's a bit of a white knuckle drive but also very beautiful. The Bear Wallow Cafe in Alpine is a popular lunch spot for people after they make the drive.

On the topic of another X route... I found this study regarding US 60X between Sossaman Road and Meridian Road.

https://azdot.gov/us-60x-main-street-study

ADOT wants to reconstruct in two phases. In the first, they will chop off the outside lane to add a sidewalk, bike lane, and street lighting.

The second phase involves slimming the median and widening to the center, so the street will pretty much look like the rest of Main Street in Mesa. After that, the road will be turned over to the City of Mesa and/or  Maricopa County for maintenance.

Honestly this is a welcome upgrade; this is one stretch of road that gives Apache Junction such a bad rap, even though ironically almost none of it is actually in the city of Apache Junction or Pinal County.
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