Interstate 8 East - Pinal County

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Interstate 8 East
Interstate 8 travels through Pinal County for its remaining distance to Casa Grande and I-10. The county seat is Florence, located at the junction of SR 79 and SR 287 just east of Casa Grande and Coolidge. Notably, the signage and freeway construction changes a bit from Maricopa County. Photo taken 01/13/06.
A picnic area is located shortly after the county line, about two miles after the Vekol Road interchange and two miles prior to the Arizona 84 and Arizona 347 interchange. Photo taken 01/13/06.
No services are available at the picnic area. However, services will be available at the next interchange (Exit 151, Arizona 84 and Arizona 347). Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 151, Arizona 84 east and Arizona 347/John Wayne Highway north (two miles). Photo taken 01/13/06.
Arizona 84 travels east along an alignment parallel to Interstate 8 between here and Casa Grande. Arizona 347/John Wayne Highway travels north to Maricopa, then merges onto Interstate 10 at the Queen Creek Road interchange. This road is popular as a direct route to the eastern suburbs of Phoenix (such as Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale), and it is four lanes for most of its length. It may someday be extended to a more direct connection to Interstate 8, but for now, a brief overlap with Arizona 84 is required. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 approaches Exit 151, Arizona 84 and Arizona 347, one half mile. A single service station is located on the south side of the freeway; otherwise, there are no services at this interchange. Continue east to Casa Grande or travel north to Maricopa for services. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Indeed, the next exit with services is 24 miles east of here. Eastbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 151, Arizona 84 east to Arizona 347/John Wayne Highway north. Arizona 347 has a controversial designation as John Wayne Highway, since the majority of the highway passes through an Indian reservation. Photo taken 01/13/06.
This mileage sign (after Exit 151) provides the distance to Stanfield (12 miles), Casa Grande (23 miles), and Tucson (84 miles). Look ahead for the power transmission line that connects greater Phoenix with Tucson. The Southwest is interlinked by a massive power grid. Some powerlines, such as the one shown in the first picture, transmit electricity between major cities and power plants. Other lines, such as the one in the second picture, distribute electricity on a more localized basis. The most important regional power plants include the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant near the junction of Interstate 10 and Arizona 85 and the complex hydroelectric dam system along the Lower Colorado River. In addition, several natural gas, coal-fire, and alternative electricity facilities permeate the region (including several near the Four Corners region). Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 161, Stanfield. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Stanfield Road travels north to Arizona 84 in Stanfield and south into the Tohono O'Odham Indian Nation. Upon crossing into the reservation, Stanfield Road becomes Indian Route 42, which travels south to Kohatk. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 161, Stanfield Road. Here is an indication of the changes in interchange construction that are prevalent along Interstate 8 between Arizona 84 and Interstate 10. Rather than using a diamond interchange, several interchanges along this section of Interstate 8 feature a parclo structure, with a tight ramp to exit the freeway after the overpass. This particular interchange is located along eastbound at Exit 161, Stanfield. Photo taken 01/13/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Casa Grande (13 miles), Junction Interstate 10 (16 miles), and Tucson (74 miles) after the Stanfield Road interchange. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 167, Montgomery Road. This interchange provides local access. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 approaches Exit 167, Montgomery Road, one half mile. Note the bridge here, where Interstate 8 crosses over a often-dry river in the desert (Santa Rosa Wash) carries floodwaters during flash thunderstorms that frequently occur during the monsoonal months of July, August, and September. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Immediately thereafter, Interstate 8 east meets Montgomery Road at Exit 167. Montgomery Road is shown on the 2003 Mapquest Road Atlas but not the 2003 Rand McNally Road Atlas.The freeway continues east toward Casa Grande and the inevitable Interstate 10 rendezvous. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 169, Bianco Road. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 approaches Exit 169, Bianco Road. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The connection from eastbound Interstate 8 to Exit 169, Bianco Road, is abnormal since a loop ramp is in place for this connection. Photo taken 01/13/06.
After the Bianco Road interchange, this sign advises that Interstate 8 enters a blowing dust area. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Finally reaching Casa Grande, eastbound Interstate 8 has two exits: Exit 172/Thornton Road and Exit 174/Trekell Road. Unlike the other major communities along its route (Yuma and Gila Bend), there is no business route designated from Interstate 8 into Casa Grande. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 172, Thornton Road, one mile. Photo taken 01/13/06.
To the north of Interstate 8 is Casa Grande. Founded in 1879 and incorporated in 1915, Casa Grande is one of the largest communities in Pinal County and sits at the crossroads of Interstate 8 and Interstate 10. Long-range plans call for a great deal of growth in this region as population expansion presses from Phoenix to the northwest and Tucson to the southeast. Sitting at an elevation of 1,405 feet above sea level, Casa Grande is home to 32.855 people as of the 2000 Census. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 172, Thornton Road. The connection to Exit 172 is also via a loop ramp. Even though we are close to Casa Grande, there are no services at this exit. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 174, Trekell Road, one mile. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 approaches Exit 174, Trekell Road, one half mile. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Trekell Road leads due north into Casa Grande, which has a full range of services including a hospital. Eastbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 174, Trekell Road; this is a traditional diamond interchange and is the final eastbound interchange on Interstate 8. Photo taken 01/13/06.
After the Trekell Road interchange, the last reassurance shield for Interstate 8 also features a "TO Interstate 10" shield. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Another blowing dust warning sign is posted after the Trekell Road interchange. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The final exit on eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 178, Junction Interstate 10, two miles. This major freeway interchange allows for motorists to go northwest toward Phoenix or due east to Tucson, Las Cruces, El Paso, and points southeast. Interstate 10 is a transcontinental route that spans the country, connecting Los Angeles, California, with Jacksonville, Florida, serving such cities as Phoenix, Houston, and New Orleans along its route. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The left lane connects to Interstate 10 northwest to Phoenix, while the right lanes merge onto Interstate 10 east en route to Tucson. Note the use of the state name on the shields mounted on the overhead signs, which were placed in 2002. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Eastbound Interstate 8 ends as the left lane exits onto westbound Interstate 10 (Exit 178B) and the right lanes exit onto eastbound Interstate 10 (Exit 178A). There are no "END" shield assemblies present at this interchange. Since most traffic will continue due east along Interstate 10, the two right lanes default to eastbound Interstate 10. For those motorists headed for Phoenix or intervening locations, the left lane provides the direct connection to westbound Interstate 10 (exit one mile ahead). Photo taken 01/13/06.
A pair of Interstate 10 trailblazers are posted at the gore point where Exits 178B and 178A split. Again note the lack of an END shield for Interstate 8. Photo taken 01/13/06.
After the split, the right two lanes prepare to merge onto Interstate 10 east. The next exit on Interstate 10 east is Exit 200, Sunland Gin Road to Arizona City and Eloy. Photo taken 01/13/06.
The next three exits on Interstate 10 serve the city of Eloy, which was incorporated in 1949 and is in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. Rainfall is a healthy 8.48 inches annually, which is a bit more than arid Gila Bend and Yuma to the west. This is due to the increased monsoonal presence here than in the western parts of the Sonoran Desert; Eloy is closer to the Gulf of Mexico's moisture stream than southwestern Arizona. Agriculture helps drive the economy, and this is made possible by deliveries of water from the Central Arizona Project. (The aquifer underground was pumped to the point that the earth started to fall; this practice has since been significantly reduced.) From here, the two lanes of Interstate 8 merge directly onto Interstate 10 east, and the lanes of Interstate 8 will both end and merge into Interstate 10's lanes before Interstate 10 meets Exit 200. Photo taken 01/13/06.
Shifting to the other ramp to Interstate 10, this picture shows the transition ramp from eastbound Interstate 8 to westbound Interstate 10 (Exit 178B) near Casa Grande and Eloy. Photo taken 05/24/03.


 


Photo Credits:

05/24/03, 01/13/06 by AARoads

Connect with:
State Route 84
State Route 347

Page Updated 03-26-2007.