Business Loop I-8 - Gila Bend

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Business Loop I-8 east
Finally transitioning from Interstate 8 east to Arizona 85 north/Business Loop I-8 east. As part of a project to expand Arizona 85 from two lanes to four lanes, portions of Arizona 85 between Gila Bend and Buckeye/Palo Verde is under construction at the time this photo was taken. When complete, the new divided highway will be a safer alternative to the two-lane highway that preceded it, and upon identification of funding, the roadway is planned for build out to Interstate standards. For more information, visit Arizona DOT's webpage: Arizona 85 Fact Sheet. Photo taken 01/14/05.
After departing Interstate 8 east, Business Loop I-8 loops northeast under Interstate 8 on an alignment parallel to the railroad tracks. The junction with Arizona 85 is just ahead. Photo taken 01/14/05.
The town of Gila Bend is known as the Crossroads of the Southwest. Home to 1,980 people as of the 2000 Census, Gila Bend is named for the nearly 90-degree bend in the Gila River that causes the river to change direction from southbound to westbound en route to the Colorado River. A welcome sign on the business route greets visitors: "Gila Bend Welcomes You - Home of 1700 Friendly People and 5 Old Crabs - Elevation 737 Feet. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Near the Love's truck stop, eastbound Business Loop I-8 approaches its junction with Arizona 85. Turn left to follow Arizona 85 south to Ajo, Why, and Mexico (Arizona 85 is the best route to Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point in the state of Sonora). Photo taken 01/14/05.
Eastbound Business Loop I-8 meets Arizona 85 south at this intersection. Continue straight ahead to follow Business Loop I-8 east and Arizona 85 north into Gila Bend. Photo taken 01/14/05.
These trailblazer shields are posted at the intersection of Business Loop I-8 and Arizona 85 south. Photo taken 01/14/05.
This is the first reassurance shield for Business Loop I-8 east. There should be a cosign for Arizona 85 north. The aforementioned welcome sign on the business route can be seen in the background; it greets visitors: "Gila Bend Welcomes You - Home of 1700 Friendly People and 5 Old Crabs - Elevation 737 Feet. Photo taken 01/14/05.
The Gila Bend town hall and tourist information is located on the north side of the business loop; turn left at the next intersection. Photo taken 01/14/05.
The mileposting on the business loop is based on a derivative of Interstate 8 mileage. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Shortly thereafter is this trailblazer shield for Arizona 85; continue straight ahead until the elevated viaduct, then turn left to follow Arizona 85 north to Interstate 10 and greater Phoenix. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Also continue straight ahead to return to Interstate 8 east. Photo taken 01/14/05.
A bit further east is another business loop reassurance shield. Much of the business loop has strip malls, restaurants, and motels to aid travelers. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Another Arizona 85 trailblazer is posted, but this time it has a "TO" banner affixed to it. Photo taken 01/14/05.
A rare neutered Interstate 8 shield (no state name) is posted a bit further east. The two routes will divide ahead. Photo taken 01/14/05.
To Arizona 85 north, use the left lane. Arizona 85 parallels Old U.S. 80 and the Gila River as it travels north to Interstate 10 and greater Phoenix. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Farmland and other agriculture is underway to the south of the business loop as it approaches its split from Arizona 85. To return to Interstate 8, use the right lane to merge onto Butterfield Trail. Photo taken 01/14/05.
While Arizona 85 follows the most direct route north to Buckeye, Interstate 10, and Phoenix, this turn off connects to the old alignment of U.S. 80, which preceded Arizona 85. This old road more closely follows the Gila River and provides some old highway surprises including an old bridge. This is a more scenic yet slower alternative for travelers en route to Phoenix. Photo taken 01/14/05.
The routes divide, as the right lane carries Business Loop I-8 east back to Interstate 8 en route to Casa Grande and Tucson, while the left lane connects to Arizona 85 north to Interstate 10. The control cities on Interstate 10 are Los Angeles (westbound) and Phoenix (eastbound), and they are used on this sign for Arizona 85 north. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Shortly thereafter area these trailblazer shields for Arizona 85 to Interstate 10 and To Interstate 8. Photo taken 01/14/05.
A flyover ramp connects westbound Business Loop I-8 with southbound Arizona 85; it crosses over Arizona 85 north. Photo taken 01/14/05.
Business Loop I-8 west
Southbound Arizona 85 approaches its junction with Business Loop I-8 in Gila Bend. Turn left to follow Business Loop I-8 east to Interstate 8 east to Casa Grande, Tucson, and the Phoenix bypass route. Continue straight ahead to follow Arizona 85 south and Business Loop I-8 west to downtown Gila Bend, Casa Grande, Yuma, and San Diego. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Passing under the flyover ramp that connects westbound Business Loop I-8 with southbound Arizona 85, these signs point the way to Business Loop I-8 east to Interstate 8 east to Interstate 8 east to Casa Grande, Tucson, and the Phoenix bypass route. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Continue straight ahead to follow Arizona 85 south and Business Loop I-8 west to downtown Gila Bend, Casa Grande, Yuma, and San Diego. There should be a Business Loop I-8 west trailblazer shield here. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Business Loop I-8 traffic merges with Arizona 85 at this point. An Interstate 8 west trailblazer is posted after the merge point. A wide variety of restaurants, motels, and other attractions line the main street of Gila Bend. Photo taken 03/19/07.
A Business Loop I-8 west reassurance shield is posted shortly thereafter, but Arizona 85 south is missing. Photo taken 03/19/07.
A pair of dinosaurs line westbound Business Loop I-8 and southbound Arizona 85 at this gas station and eatery. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Continuing west, this trailblazer for Interstate 8 is unusual in that it has no state name (it is neutered). There are only a handful of Interstate 8 shields without a state name in existence, since both Arizona and California almost exclusively use Interstate shields with the state name. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Business Loop I-8 west and Arizona 85 south enter downtown Gila Bend. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Another Interstate 8 west trailblazer is posted in front of the Gila Bend grocery store. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Westbound Business Loop I-8 passes by the Coronado Motel in Gila Bend. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Approaching the west end of Gila Bend, the routes prepare to divide. Continue straight ahead to follow Business Loop I-8 west to Yuma and San Diego. Turn right to follow Arizona 85 south to Interstate 8 east, Ajo, Why, and the Mexican Border. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Turn right here to the Gila Bend Town Hall and Museum. A tourist information center is also available. Photo taken 03/19/07.
The two routes divide ahead. Turn right for Arizona 85 south and Interstate 8 east; continue straight for Interstate 8 west. For Old U.S. 80 travelers, follow the signs for Interstate 8 west. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Arizona 85 south and Business Loop I-8 west split. Continue straight ahead to Yuma and San Diego; turn right to follow Arizona 85 south to Ajo, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the international border with Mexico, and Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) via Mexico Federal Route 8. Photo taken 03/19/07.
The last two services on the business loop are this McDonald's and the Love Truck Stop (which currently features a Taco Bell). After these, there are no services until Sentinel, some 30 miles west of here. Photo taken 03/19/07.
After Arizona 85 splits off, Business Loop I-8 approaches its junction with Interstate 8. The first right connects to the north frontage road, and the second right connects to Interstate 8 west. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Business Loop I-8 ends as the route is absorbed into Interstate 8 west. The control city for westbound is San Diego. Photo taken 03/19/07.
Use the left lane to connect to the south frontage road; exit right to connect to Interstate 8 west. There is no connection here with Interstate 8 east; turn around and use Arizona 85 south for that connection. Photo taken 03/19/07.



Photo Credits:

01/14/05, 03/19/07 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 8
Arizona 85

Page Updated 11-13-2017.