The history of Interstate 10 through Arizona is a long one, one marked by tensions, realignments, and delays. While portions of the freeway were completed fairly early, the final section was not completed until 1990 - the last section of Interstate 10 completed in the United States.
Interstate 10 is the primary east-west Interstate in Arizona. Crossing the Colorado River in Ehrenberg, the freeway meets SR 95 and US 95 in Quartzsite, and spawns US 60 near Brenda. Passing through Tonopah, the freeway swings slightly southeast to reach Buckeye, then heads directly east through Goodyear into Phoenix, meeting I-17 at the Stack interchange. The freeway continues through downtown Phoenix under Margaret T. Hance park (constructed over the freeway), turning south at the Mini-stack interchange (with SR 51 and Loop 202), then east at I-17, and south at the Broadway curve, leaving the Phoenix area south of Loop 202 and heading southeast.
Between Phoenix and Tucson, Interstate 10 travels southeast via Casa Grande and Eloy, meeting Interstate 8 between the two. South of Eloy, I-10 passes Picacho Peak and the small town of Picacho, continuing through Marana before entering Tucson. I-10 passes to the west of downtown, then swings around the south side, meeting I-19 before continuing east.
East of Tucson, the road loses traffic on the way to Benson, then climbs Texas Canyon, passing Dragoon and The THING?, a noted roadside stop. The freeway passes north of Willcox Playa before reaching Willcox, then turns east through Bowie before reaching San Simon and the New Mexico state line.
Interstate 10 Arizona Guides
The section from Buckeye Road to I-17 was originally constructed in 1965 as I-510 (later I-410) and reconstructed in 1988. Miles 147-150 were signed as SH 51 between 1988 and 1990, until I-10 was completed. Miles 255-262 were originally built in 1953 as SR 84A, an expressway bypass of Tucson, and upgraded to I-10 between 1959 and 1962.
There is a construction project in Tucson to widen Interstate 10 through downtown. This section of freeway, one of the oldest in Arizona, was reconstructed in 1996 but not significantly widened at the time. The current project will bring Interstate 10 to 8 lanes (4 each direction) through downtown Tucson, and is estimated to be completed by 2010.
There are plans to reconstruct Interstate 10 from the Mini-Stack (Loop 202/Arizona 51) to Ray Road through Phoenix into a dual freeway configuration. More information can be found on the Phoenix city guide.
I-10 has had several business loops. The following are still active:
- Quartzsite - 2.4 miles, along old US 60.
- Benson - 3.2 miles. Old SR 86.
- Willcox - 8.0 miles. Old SR 86.
- Bowie - 4.0 miles. Old SR 86.
- San Simon - 3.5 miles. Old SR 86.
Former Business Loops
- Phoenix - Grand Avenue from I-17 to Van Buren Street, Van Buren Street from Grand Ave to 44th Street, and 44th Street (Hohokam Expressway) from Van Buren to I-10. Former US 60 to 44th Street.
- Tucson (1) - SR 77 from Miracle Mile interchange to Oracle Road, then south on Oracle Road to Drachman Rd, then south on 6th Avenue to I-10. Also former US 80/89 from Oracle Road to I-10.
- Tucson (2) - Tucson-Benson Highway from Park Ave (exit 262) to Exit 267. Old US 80.
Page Updated 08-29-2007.