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Author Topic: Historic US 80 in Arizona  (Read 5236 times)

DJStephens

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2018, 06:16:01 PM »

Thank you for your efforts on this.  Very interesting topic.   Will try and get some pictures of old bypassed sections in and around Benson next time am traveling to either Tucson or Phoenix with the geotechnical firm.  There are some sections of the former US 80 both east and west of Deming, NM.   When decommissioned, the sterile designations of NM 418 (W of Deming) and 549 (E of Deming) were slapped on them.   
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707

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2018, 11:30:38 PM »

Thanks! And yes. Interestingly though, the limited info I have on NM 418 and NM 549 suggests the old route through Cambray and all of NM 418 were county maintained routes between 1954 and 1988. During the 1988 Renumbering, NMDOT likely reinstated the old route that year west out of Deming as a State Highway, establishing it as NM 418. There are no references to NM 418 prior to at least 1988. I think it's possible that until the 1988 Renumbering, 549 was either signed a different NM number or was signed as US 70/US 80/US 180. Either way, the NM 549 designation was established in 1988. NM 549 was apparently expanded over the old Cambray route in the early 1990s with the state once again reclaiming a highway they abandoned to Luna County. I wish I had better sources. Either way, NMDOT doesn't seem to remember the dates of establishment for mamy of its routes or has the info buried deep in their archives where it hasn't been accessed yet. All documentation and sources they've made available online doesn't show a definitive date for tge establishment of most state roads. Though there's a goldmine of info regarding the territory/state highway system dates abd designations from 1909 to the 1927 Renumbering.

VS988

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707

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2018, 02:47:19 PM »

1965 topo with NM 418: https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ht-bin/tv_download.pl?id=5378468&tif=true
1972 topo with NM 549: https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ht-bin/tv_download.pl?id=5378656&tif=true

Browser: http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/
Thanks for the correction. No other maps I've seen have ever shown them existing prior to 1988.

VS988
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 02:52:07 PM by 707 »
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Konza

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2019, 11:08:18 PM »

Historic US 80 signs are up on AZ 80 in Cochise County. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 11:16:42 PM by Konza »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2019, 11:27:29 PM »

Historic US 80 signs are up on AZ 80 in Cochise County.

Ive seen Facebook posts with them co-signed on AZ 77 near Tucson. 
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DJStephens

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2019, 09:25:24 PM »

Viewed a historic 80 marker in Florence Junction (US 60, exit 212) last week.   
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2019, 01:47:18 AM »

Viewed a historic 80 marker in Florence Junction (US 60, exit 212) last week.

I take it you mean at or near the US 60/AZ 79 interchange.  "Florence Junction" hasn't existed for many years.  The store/gas station/souvenir shop that was at the old US 60/70 and US 80/89 (now AZ 79) split is long gone, and the area is now known by the Census Bureau as Queen Valley.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2019, 07:48:20 AM »

Viewed a historic 80 marker in Florence Junction (US 60, exit 212) last week.

I take it you mean at or near the US 60/AZ 79 interchange.  "Florence Junction" hasn't existed for many years.  The store/gas station/souvenir shop that was at the old US 60/70 and US 80/89 (now AZ 79) split is long gone, and the area is now known by the Census Bureau as Queen Valley.

When did that change?  Ive always known the area as Florence Junction and Silver King to the north.  There was actual a mine and community called Silver King that was pretty notable until someone burned the ruins of the buildings down.
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2019, 11:31:30 PM »

Viewed a historic 80 marker in Florence Junction (US 60, exit 212) last week.

I take it you mean at or near the US 60/AZ 79 interchange.  "Florence Junction" hasn't existed for many years.  The store/gas station/souvenir shop that was at the old US 60/70 and US 80/89 (now AZ 79) split is long gone, and the area is now known by the Census Bureau as Queen Valley.

When did that change?  Ive always known the area as Florence Junction and Silver King to the north.  There was actual a mine and community called Silver King that was pretty notable until someone burned the ruins of the buildings down.

Florence Junction is still used to describe the US 60/AZ 79 interchange, but the area has been vacant since the interchange opened -- at least 20 years. 

The area where the store sat, at the intersection of the old roads, is now just a vacant lot with a couple of garbage cans -- a smoke break before continuing on to Florence/Tucson or Globe.  You can still drive to the lot by turning left at 79, but nothing of substance is there.
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Konza

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #60 on: June 07, 2019, 06:34:14 PM »

The question would be exactly how "historic" Historic US 80 wants to be.

Around Bisbee, the Historic US 80 Route signs follow AZ 80, which is to say around Old Bisbee and through the Mule Pass Tunnel.  The tunnel only dates back to the fifties, before that the route would have had to have followed Main Street, Tombstone Canyon Road, and Old Divide Road, the last of which can be treacherous to say the least.

I can see why Bisbee would not want any more traffic on its historic Main Street, and I don't think it would be a good idea to route tourists over Old Divide Road but I wonder what process was used to actually determine which route was going to be signed.  One of the reasons for designating historic routes is to peek back at yesteryear, and there would be few better ways to do that than routing traffic through the heart of Old Bisbee.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #61 on: June 07, 2019, 06:55:26 PM »

The question would be exactly how "historic" Historic US 80 wants to be.

Around Bisbee, the Historic US 80 Route signs follow AZ 80, which is to say around Old Bisbee and through the Mule Pass Tunnel.  The tunnel only dates back to the fifties, before that the route would have had to have followed Main Street, Tombstone Canyon Road, and Old Divide Road, the last of which can be treacherous to say the least.

I can see why Bisbee would not want any more traffic on its historic Main Street, and I don't think it would be a good idea to route tourists over Old Divide Road but I wonder what process was used to actually determine which route was going to be signed.  One of the reasons for designating historic routes is to peek back at yesteryear, and there would be few better ways to do that than routing traffic through the heart of Old Bisbee.

Having historic US 89A never seemed to affect Clarkdale all that much.  Id say route Historic US 80 over the pass and Main Street.  At minimum either way has you on a section of what was US 80. 
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707

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2019, 07:43:23 PM »

Great to hear the signs are being thrown up! Does anyone have a photograph? I'm unable to take a look myself. As I'm typing though, I'm on Historic US 80 in Tucson. The old route through the city still doesn't have signs yet. I can vouch for that taking the bus up Stone, Drachman and Oracle every Sunday to get to work. I remember Demion Clinco saying ADOT was still working out an IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) for non-state sections, so I'm guessing Pima County and the state are still in the process of working out an agreement. Demion did say the way things were working out, the ADOT maintained routes would get the first signs, then the county and city routes across the state after the bureaucratic wheels finish their painfully slow revolutions and paperwork plus IGAs are put into effect. He assured me Marsh Station Road, Old Divide and Main Street would get the signs eventually. Apparently ADOT added those to the proposed Historic Route.

From what I've gathered and have been told, the THPF and ADOT have two alignments that will all eventually be signed in some form or another:

Primary Route - US 80 as it was in 1950 (This route for the most part is accurate, though they forgot to add Old Divide and Main Street in Bisbee.)
Secondary Route - US 80 as it was in 1926 (but erroneously referred to as US 80 in 1925 by both ADOT and the THPF)/"US 80" as it was in 1917 (Basically the Dixie Overland Highway and Bankhead Highway auto trails)

The THPF goofed up with their dates badly. US 80 didn't exist between 1917 and 1925 (unless you count the early planning by AASHO in '25). They also put down the end of US 80 in Arizona period as being in 1977, despite the fact it existed in Cochise County until 1989. My guess is they did this because they wanted incarnations of the entire route across the state rather than just a segment. ADOT pretty much took everything the THPF said as gospel for where and what Historic US 80 is, so because of the errors, ADOT may erroneously recognize US 80 having existed between 1917 and 1977. All the routes they made are based off my friend Jeff Jensen's work from his book Drive the Broadway of America!: US 80 Across the Southwest and included the Bankhead and Dixie Overland Highway routes he placed in them, probably thinking that those were always US 80.

Marsh Station Road, Old Divide Road, Tombstone Canyon Road and Main Street are all listed in the document under the Secondary (1925) Route. And get this; the old mostly unknown early routing of US 80 through Dome is part of the Secondary Route As Well. If you'd all like, I can try and put together a list of the road segments of interest that make up Routes 1 and 2.

As for the bypass route and Mule Pass Tunnel, I can vouch that at least one of those pieces is very historic. The tunnel, completed in 1958, is the longest in the state of Arizona and the only tunnel ever used by US 80 (since the San Diego Tunnel was cancelled in California). During construction of the tunnel, the contracted crew broke the world record for most earthen material excavated by a drilling machine in one day. But they didn't just break the record once, they broke it three times in a row. Construction of the tunnel also broke records at the time for being the largest construction project on a highway in Arizona and being the most expensive single highway improvement project in Arizona. Not sure how many records besides the length one are still valid though, considering these are facts and figures from 1958 to 1960. Construction of the tunnel cost a total of $2,000,000 in 1958 figures. So expensive it surpassed the original allocated budget by over $600,000. That lead to the state auditor Mrs. Jewel Jordan, refusing initial payments to the contractor creating a huge problem. Work stopped on the tunnel for months while the attorney general of the state and the state auditor argued back and forth over the legality of the contract in a civil lawsuit. Obviously Jordan lost the argument as the Arizona Supreme Court ruled the contract was legal despite being over budget. Jordan was forced to give the contractor their due payment and work resumed on the tunnel in March 1957.

Lastly, in the news, the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation just won an award for their preservation efforts with US 80.

This is the document both ADOT and the THPF are using to designate Historic US 80:
https://preservetucson.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Arizona-Historic-US-Route-80-Applicaiton-Submitted-to-ADOT-July-2016-small-file-for-web2.pdf
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 01:29:07 AM by 707 »
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english si

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #63 on: September 06, 2019, 05:05:50 AM »

The question would be exactly how "historic" Historic US 80 wants to be.

Around Bisbee, the Historic US 80 Route signs follow AZ 80, which is to say around Old Bisbee and through the Mule Pass Tunnel.  The tunnel only dates back to the fifties, before that the route would have had to have followed Main Street, Tombstone Canyon Road, and Old Divide Road, the last of which can be treacherous to say the least.

I can see why Bisbee would not want any more traffic on its historic Main Street, and I don't think it would be a good idea to route tourists over Old Divide Road but I wonder what process was used to actually determine which route was going to be signed.  One of the reasons for designating historic routes is to peek back at yesteryear, and there would be few better ways to do that than routing traffic through the heart of Old Bisbee.

Having historic US 89A never seemed to affect Clarkdale all that much.  Id say route Historic US 80 over the pass and Main Street.  At minimum either way has you on a section of what was US 80.
Page 7 of the ADOT signing plan suggests through Old Bisbee and over the pass is the aim, but as it isn't a state route, signage would come later. Odd that they would change that and sign AZ80 when they didn't plan to.


TBH, I think that US66-style date banners with two different alignments might work for Bisbee - there's an historic tunnel and an historic town (though you can actually do both - the tunnel is opposed to the pass rather than the town).
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707

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Re: Historic US 80 in Arizona
« Reply #64 on: September 19, 2019, 07:20:01 PM »

The question would be exactly how "historic" Historic US 80 wants to be.

Around Bisbee, the Historic US 80 Route signs follow AZ 80, which is to say around Old Bisbee and through the Mule Pass Tunnel.  The tunnel only dates back to the fifties, before that the route would have had to have followed Main Street, Tombstone Canyon Road, and Old Divide Road, the last of which can be treacherous to say the least.

I can see why Bisbee would not want any more traffic on its historic Main Street, and I don't think it would be a good idea to route tourists over Old Divide Road but I wonder what process was used to actually determine which route was going to be signed.  One of the reasons for designating historic routes is to peek back at yesteryear, and there would be few better ways to do that than routing traffic through the heart of Old Bisbee.

Having historic US 89A never seemed to affect Clarkdale all that much.  Id say route Historic US 80 over the pass and Main Street.  At minimum either way has you on a section of what was US 80.
Page 7 of the ADOT signing plan suggests through Old Bisbee and over the pass is the aim, but as it isn't a state route, signage would come later. Odd that they would change that and sign AZ80 when they didn't plan to.


TBH, I think that US66-style date banners with two different alignments might work for Bisbee - there's an historic tunnel and an historic town (though you can actually do both - the tunnel is opposed to the pass rather than the town).
That is very odd indeed. I imagine ADOT crews and personnel must have screwed up. I also got reports Historic US 80 was signed along SR 85 from Buckeye to Gila Bend, instead of Old US 80/Cotton Center Road as the ASTB Meeting Agenda and Documents specifically asked it to be.

The problem is, the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation seems to have lost interest and no longer actively endorses the road they fought so hard to get designated. They celebrated its inception, took their award, then left. I've tried several times to get updates from Demion Clinco, their leader, but he just reads my messages and ignores them these days.

Besides that, there's no Historic Route 80 Association in Arizona, period. There hasn't been a US 80 Association since the old Tucson based organization disbanded in 1965 or so. So basically, no one is raising concern over this. I wish I knew how to appeal to Business Owners and Municipal Politicians like Angel Delgadillo did with Route 66, because I would gladly create the organization myself. I'm trying to raise interest on the main US 80 history buff page on Facebook to get something started, but so far, there's very little interest. Meanwhile, all the businesses are shutting down on the Drachman Street section like no tomorrow and no one in town seems to care... I ate at a historic restaurant tonight on the Stone Avenue section that's started closing most of their building after 11 AM because of the lack of people doing business...

VS988
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 10:46:49 PM by 707 »
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