Interstate 8 enters Arizona through the city of Yuma. The largest city in Yuma County, Yuma is a popular winter getaway for snowbirds and thrives due to its proximity to the international border with Mexico. As of the 2000 Census, the population of Yuma was 77,515 people, and by the 2020 Census that number grew to 95,548. This does not include winter residents, which bring in hundreds of millions of additional dollars to the local economy.

Yuma has gone by other names in its history: from 1854 until 1858, Yuma was known as Colorado City and from 1858 until 1873, Yuma was known as Arizona City. In 1873, Yuma received its current name, which is in honor of the Native American inhabitants from this region. Incorporation occurred three times in Yuma's history: as a village on July 11, 1876; as a town on April 6, 1902; and as a city on April 7, 1914. Yuma sits at 138 feet above sea level, receives only 2.94 inches of rainfall annually. The average year-round high temperature is over 87 degrees.1

Interstate 8 East
A port of entry (weigh station) for commercial trucks lies just beyond Exit 1 along Interstate 8. 05/28/21
Crossing the Colorado River on a bridge built in 1979 bridge, Interstate 8 turns southward into Yuma. The ensuing exit is with Giss Parkway. 07/07/18
Yuma Territorial Prison Park lies along the east side of I-8 along Prison Hill Road. Prison Hill Road stems north from Giss Parkway within the folded diamond interchange at Exit 1. 05/28/21
Exit 1 connects eastbound Interstate 8 with parallel Redondo Center Drive south of Harold C. Giss Parkway. Redondo Center Drive extends south to U.S. 95 (16th Street) while Giss Parkway heads west to 4th Avenue (Business Loop I-8) at 3rd Street. 07/07/18
The first confirming marker for Interstate 8 in Arizona appears at the off-ramp (Exit 1) to Redondo Center Drive. 05/28/21
Weigh stations operate in both directions of Interstate 8 between Exit 1 and 2. 07/07/18
Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State. By crossing the Colorado River, motorists leave Pacific Time Zone and enter Mountain Time Zone. However, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. 05/28/21
Advancing south, Interstate 8 meets U.S. 95 (16th Street) at a diamond interchange (Exit 2) east of the city center. 05/28/21
U.S. 95 heads east and north from Yuma to the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground toward Quartzsite, where it connects with SR 95 to Lake Havasu. 05/28/21
Paralleling the Union Pacific Railroad, Interstate 8 curves east from Exit 2 to Exit 3 for Avenue 3E and Exit 7 for SR 195 (Araby Road) south. 07/07/18
U.S. 95 follows 16th Street west across the city of Yuma to Avenue B south en route to Somerton, Gadsden and San Luis. The highway heads east across South Gila Valley to El Prado Estates. 07/07/18
The exchange with U.S. 95 lies just west of a retail area anchored by Yuma Palms Regional Center 05/28/21
U.S. 95 is locally maintained south to the International border at San Luis and east to Araby Road near El Prado Estates. A port of entry at the border allows passage into the city of San Luis Colorado in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Mexico Federal Route 2 parallels the U.S. border west from there to Mexicali and Tijuana and east to Sonoita and Santa Ana. 07/07/18
Confirming marker posted ahead of the Pacific Avenue overpass. 05/28/21
This reassurance shield for Interstate 8 east is posted after Avenue 3E. 01/14/05
The next exit along Interstate 8 east is for Avenue 3E (former SR 280) north to U.S. 95 and south to Business Loop I-8 and Yuma International Airport (YUM). 05/28/21
The Yuma County road numbering system is based on mileage from Yuma at the western end of the county. Therefore Avenue 3E is approximately three miles from the center point in Yuma. 05/28/21
SR 280 followed Avenue 3E south 1.47 miles from Exit 3 to Business Loop I-8 (E 32nd Street) near the Yuma County Fairgrounds. Avenue 3E continues south to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma. 05/28/21
Avenue 3E extends north from the diamond interchange at Exit 3 to U.S. 95 (16th Street) at an area of industrial parks. Established in 1976, SR 280 was a derivative of Old U.S. 80. 05/28/21
Gila Ridge Road runs along the south side of Interstate 8 by a series of industrial businesses. 07/07/18
Traveling between the UP Railroad and South Gila Valley Main Canal, the succeeding exit along Interstate 8 east is for the north end of SR 195 (Araby Road). 05/28/21
SR 195 constitutes the truck route from I-8 and Yuma south to the San Luis port of entry to Mexico along U.S. 95. 05/28/21
E 24th Street stems east from Araby Road to Arizona Western College and the University of Arizona Yuma. 07/07/18
Arizona State Route 195 encircles Yuma along a 22.08 mile long course through the Yuma Desert to San Luis along Cesar Chavez Boulevard. 05/28/21
An $8 million, two phase project reconfigured the diamond interchange at Exit 7 with roundabouts. The roundabout on the north side was finished in 2017, followed by completion of the south side roundabout on November 1, 2018.1 05/28/21
The succeeding three exits join Interstate 8 with east Yuma and the suburban community of Fortuna Foothills. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 shifts south across the Union Pacific Railroad. 05/28/21
Business Loop I-8 through Yuma originated at Exit 170 in Winterhaven, California. South from the Colorado River, the route follows 4th Avenue to the city center before turning east along 32nd Street to I-8 at Exit 9. 05/28/21
Business Loop I-8 follows the original alignment of U.S. 80, which follows Interstate 8 closely between Yuma and Gila Bend. 05/28/21
East from Exit 9, Old U.S. 80 follows Interstate 8 until the Dome Valley exit on the east side of the Gila Mountains. 05/28/21
RIRO ramps at Exit 9 link Interstate 8 eastbound with Business Loop I-8 (32nd Street) west at Avenue 8 1/2E. 05/28/21
Frontage roads accompany both sides of Interstate 8 east to the U.S. Border Patrol Station at mile marker 17. 05/28/21
A commercialized diamond interchange connects Interstate 8 with Fortuna Road at Exit 12. 05/28/21
An array of subdivisions, manufactured home communities and retail line Fortuna Road south to E 40th Street and north to E 24th Street. 05/28/21
Fortuna Road provides a cut off 2.1 miles north from Exit 12 to U.S. 95 in the South Gila Valley. U.S. 95 travels north from the Yuma area between the Gila and Laguna Mountains north en route Quartzsite, Blythe, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 continues east by the Mesa Del Sol Golf Club community. 05/28/21
Foothills Boulevard meets Interstate 8 at the second exit for the Fortuna Foothills community. 05/28/21
Exit 14 / Foothills Boulevard provides the last traveler services along Interstate 8 for 16 miles to Wellton. 05/28/21
Foothills Boulevard constitutes a five lane boulevard south from the diamond interchange at Exit 14 to E 50th Street. 05/28/21
2 photos
2 photos
Interstate 8 crosses Fortuna Wash around 320 feet above sea level. Ascending into the Gila Mountains, the freeway rises to 790 feet in elevation. 05/28/21
All traffic must stop for the U.S. Border Patrol Inspection Station in two miles. 05/28/21
2 photos
2 photos
Originally placed for preservation of Arizona agricultural interests, the inspection station at mile marker 17 was repurposed for use by the U.S. Border Patrol to reduce illegal immigration and illicit activities. 05/28/21
2 photos
2 photos
When in operation, traffic along Interstate 8 is diverted into the U.S. Border Patrol Inspection Station. 05/28/21
The speed limit is 55 miles per hour east across the Gila Mountains from the Border Patrol Inspection Station to Exit 21 at Dome Valley. 05/28/21
The eastbound roadway for I-8 follows the 1928 alignment for U.S. 80 through a multitude of rock cuts across the Gila Mountains. 05/28/21
The westbound roadway for Interstate 8 utilizes the 1948 of U.S. 80, which travels at a different grade than the eastbound roadway. The two roadways switch sides through Telegraph Pass. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 descends from Telegraph Pass at a 6% grade. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 lowers 400 feet in elevation from Telegraph Pass into a trumpet interchange (Exit 21) with Old U.S. 80 at Ligurta. 05/28/21
2 photos
2 photos
Eastbound Interstate 8 navigates through a series of S-curves above the westbound roadway. 05/28/21
Dome Valley spreads into view north of Interstate 8 at mile marker 20. 05/28/21
Old U.S. 80 emerges from Interstate 8 east at Exit 21 into Dome Valley at Ligurta en route to Wellton. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 eastbound switches sides with the westbound roadway again just ahead of Exit 21. 05/28/21
Dome Valley opens east into the Mohawk Valley along the northern edge of Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. Old U.S. 80 stays north of Interstate 8 through Ligurta, Wellton and Tacna. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 straightens out along a southeasterly heading past Ligurta. 05/28/21
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 8 is Exit 37, Avenue 36E to the town of Roll. Yuma County utilizes a grid numbering system for its county routes; the numbers increase from west to east (compare Exit 30 Avenue 29E with Exit 37 Avenue 36E). Each number is spaced by one mile. 01/14/05
Parking areas line both sides of Interstate 8 at mile marker 22. 05/28/21
No median barrier for the next 97 miles of Interstate 8. 05/28/21
2 photos
2 photos
The Ligurta Truck Parking Area lies just west of Red Top Wash and south of the Union Pacific Railroad. 05/28/21
Interstate 8 progresses east across Ligurta Wash and then the Wellton Mohawk Canal. 05/28/21


 
Sources:
  1. City of Yuma web site. http://www.ci.yuma.az.us/ welcome.htm.
  2. "In Yuma, Araby Road improvements almost complete." Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), news release. October 22, 2018.


Photo Credits:

01/14/05, 07/07/18, 05/28/21 by AARoads

Connect with:
Business Loop I-8 - Yuma
U.S. 95
Former State Route 280

Page Updated 04-27-2022.

Go to Top