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Author Topic: AZ 89/Old US 89  (Read 403 times)

Max Rockatansky

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AZ 89/Old US 89
« on: January 05, 2019, 02:47:03 PM »

In the early 2000s the route of Old US 89 along Arizona State Route 89 was often one of my more common mountain drives when I was living in Arizona.  In particular I used to drive the segment of AZ 89 from AZ 69 south over Yarnell Hill to US 93 frequently.  I had some old photos from 2012 one year before the Yarnell Hill Fire that I put together into a small blog.  I intended to make this a "Throwback Thursday" but figured the Yarnell Hill alignment of US 89 was interesting enough to feature now:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2019/01/throwback-thursday-old-us-route-89.html
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 08:45:19 AM by andy3175 »
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US 89

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 03:05:00 PM »

I've said this in the past, but I've never liked that US 89 was truncated all the way to Flagstaff. It should have remained intact at least down to the US 60 junction at Wickenburg, but I would have even kept it all the way down to Tucson. AZ 79 and 77 make a decent alternative to I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Per Google maps, the 77-79-60 route actually takes about the same time as I-10 if there's any congestion or accidents on 10.
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Interstate clinches: 14 82 86west 215UT 225 345 444 575 985
US clinches: 91 491 550

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 03:42:38 PM »

I've said this in the past, but I've never liked that US 89 was truncated all the way to Flagstaff. It should have remained intact at least down to the US 60 junction at Wickenburg, but I would have even kept it all the way down to Tucson. AZ 79 and 77 make a decent alternative to I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Per Google maps, the 77-79-60 route actually takes about the same time as I-10 if there's any congestion or accidents on 10.

I agree, plus it would be nice to have a community as large as Prescott on a US Route.  When I-10 had a 200 vehicle pileup at the start of the decade I actually used the old route of US 80/89 to get a couple people I had in a work party home from Green Valley.  The old highway is a perfectly suitable alternate to I-10, I really don't understand what sense it made to truncate US 89 to US 180 in Flagstaff. 

US 89

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 04:19:11 PM »

Even the Flagstaff terminus as it is today is confusing. From what I can tell, the actual south end of 89 is at the intersection of BL-40/US-89 and Country Club Drive, where the "END 89" sign is posted.

However, there's an argument to be made that it's at the intersection of BL-40 and Historic 66, based on these shields and the street blade -- Google seems to believe this argument, putting 89 shields on BL-40 between the Historic 66 and Country Club intersections.

On the other hand, there is also a bunch of signage on I-40 that indicates 89 begins at exit 201 and runs north on Country Club Drive.
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Interstate clinches: 14 82 86west 215UT 225 345 444 575 985
US clinches: 91 491 550

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 04:30:20 PM »

Even the Flagstaff terminus as it is today is confusing. From what I can tell, the actual south end of 89 is at the intersection of BL-40/US-89 and Country Club Drive, where the "END 89" sign is posted.

However, there's an argument to be made that it's at the intersection of BL-40 and Historic 66, based on these shields and the street blade -- Google seems to believe this argument, putting 89 shields on BL-40 between the Historic 66 and Country Club intersections.

On the other hand, there is also a bunch of signage on I-40 that indicates 89 begins at exit 201 and runs north on Country Club Drive.

The one thing that makes me think its Country Club Drive is AZDOTs usual strict adherence to a highway not ending in the middle of another.  But to your point, none of those exit ramps say "TO US 89" and imply the highway starts there.

kwellada

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 11:21:27 AM »

In the early 2000s the route of Old US 89 along Arizona State Route 89 was often one of my more common mountain drives when I was living in Arizona.  In particular I used to drive the segment of AZ 89 from AZ 69 south over Yarnell Hill to US 93 frequently.  I had some old photos from 2012 one year before the Yarnell Hill Fire that I put together into a small blog.  I intended to make this a "Throwback Thursday" but figured the Yarnell Hill alignment of US 89 was interesting enough to feature now:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2019/01/throwback-thursday-old-us-route-89.html

I lived in Yarnell the last two years I was in high school as well as one summer between my first & second years of college.  That was still back in the US89 days.  I also got my drivers license right before my junior year and drove a very large Chevy pickup to school every day down Yarnell Hill.  Later when I owned a mountain bike, I'd coast down the hill, then ride all the way back up because, well, I was 19 and had absolutely nothing better to do that summer.  My love of driving curvy mountain roads no doubt is due to US89. 

The Yarnell Hill fire was horrifying.  I used to climb around in those rocks on that hillside and knew instantly how difficult of a situation those firefighters faced that day.  In 2015 I drove through the area and decided to see if the house my parents owned back then survived.  It amazingly did, but the fire literally had stopped across the street.   
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wanderer2575

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2019, 11:47:59 AM »

As a general comment, I don't understand the point of decommissioning a US route to make it a state route.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2019, 12:38:06 PM »

In the early 2000s the route of Old US 89 along Arizona State Route 89 was often one of my more common mountain drives when I was living in Arizona.  In particular I used to drive the segment of AZ 89 from AZ 69 south over Yarnell Hill to US 93 frequently.  I had some old photos from 2012 one year before the Yarnell Hill Fire that I put together into a small blog.  I intended to make this a "Throwback Thursday" but figured the Yarnell Hill alignment of US 89 was interesting enough to feature now:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2019/01/throwback-thursday-old-us-route-89.html

I lived in Yarnell the last two years I was in high school as well as one summer between my first & second years of college.  That was still back in the US89 days.  I also got my drivers license right before my junior year and drove a very large Chevy pickup to school every day down Yarnell Hill.  Later when I owned a mountain bike, I'd coast down the hill, then ride all the way back up because, well, I was 19 and had absolutely nothing better to do that summer.  My love of driving curvy mountain roads no doubt is due to US89. 

The Yarnell Hill fire was horrifying.  I used to climb around in those rocks on that hillside and knew instantly how difficult of a situation those firefighters faced that day.  In 2015 I drove through the area and decided to see if the house my parents owned back then survived.  It amazingly did, but the fire literally had stopped across the street.

It wasn’t too long after the Wallow Fire which was infinitely more massive being the largest fire the state had ever seen.  Despite the size the Wallow Fire didn’t do much beyond just burn a large area of the White Mountains.  It was quite a shock that such a small fire did so much damage. 

dvferyance

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 10:20:57 PM »

I've said this in the past, but I've never liked that US 89 was truncated all the way to Flagstaff. It should have remained intact at least down to the US 60 junction at Wickenburg, but I would have even kept it all the way down to Tucson. AZ 79 and 77 make a decent alternative to I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Per Google maps, the 77-79-60 route actually takes about the same time as I-10 if there's any congestion or accidents on 10.
I would have truncated it to Wickenburg from there to Tucson it made sense to downgrade it.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 04:29:47 PM »

US 89 should have been truncated only to where Tucson's BL-19 terminated, Interstate 10's Exit 261.
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sparker

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Re: AZ 89/Old US 89
« Reply #10 on: Today at 03:51:15 AM »

I've said this in the past, but I've never liked that US 89 was truncated all the way to Flagstaff. It should have remained intact at least down to the US 60 junction at Wickenburg, but I would have even kept it all the way down to Tucson. AZ 79 and 77 make a decent alternative to I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Per Google maps, the 77-79-60 route actually takes about the same time as I-10 if there's any congestion or accidents on 10.
I would have truncated it to Wickenburg from there to Tucson it made sense to downgrade it.
US 89 should have been truncated only to where Tucson's BL-19 terminated, Interstate 10's Exit 261.

The truncation effort seems to have been informed by CA's similar efforts back in '64; if anything, AZ had a greater percentage of its US routes' mileage as part of multiplexes than did CA (e.g. 66/89, 60/70/89, with 80 added east of Phoenix, and then 80/89 down to Tucson).  Compounding the issue was the presence of I-17 effectively subsuming US 89's former role as the main through N-S route through the central part of the state; ADOT likely presumed that continuing US 89 south of Flagstaff would be redundant (they're engineers, not historians!).

That being said -- if it were up to me, US 89 would have been rerouted south on the Mormon Lake road (suggested previously on multiple occasions as an addition to the state network) down to AZ 87, then replacing AZ 87 at least as far south as US 60 in Mesa or possibly all the way to I-10 at Eloy. 
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