Interstate 10 west
Westbound Interstate 10 departs Cochise County and enters Pima County, home to the city of Tucson. Pima County is the second most populous county in Arizona, and much of the county in the vicinity of Tucson has been developed. However, great tracts of the desert are protected, including Saguaro National Park and Ironwood Forest National Monument. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The first Pima County exit along westbound Interstate 10 is Exit 292, Empirita Road, which leads south to provide local and ranch access. Empirita Road does not connect to any other major roads. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 292, Empirita Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for Exit 281, Arizona 83 south; Exit 260, Junction Interstate 19; and downtown Tucson. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Prior to the exit for Arizona 83, the next exit along westbound Interstate 10 is Exit 289 for Marsh Station Road, one mile. Marsh Station Road is the old alignment for U.S. 80 between Exits 289 and 281. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 approaching Exit 289, Marsh Station Road, 0.25 mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 289, Marsh Station Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Interstate 10 passes over Cienega Creek; after this bridge, the freeway finally completes its descent from the higher elevations of Cochise County. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 281, Arizona 83 south to Sonoita and Patagonia, two miles. Marsh Station Road/Old U.S. 80 rejoins the freeway at this interchange. Photo taken 03/28/04.
A scenic route, Arizona 83 passes by the eastern edge of the Santa Rita Experimental Range and Wildlife Area. Arizona 82, which heads southwest toward Nogales, continues the scenic route as it enters the Coronado National Forest en route toward the international border. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 279, Vail Road/Colossal Cave Road/Wentworth Road, one mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Colossal Cave, located a few miles northeast of the freeway, was discovered in 1879 but had been in use by the Hohokam Indians centuries prior to that. Tours of the cave are available, and the temperature is 70 degrees (not 100 plus as is typical in the summer). Photo taken 03/28/04.
Vail Road heads north to Vail and connects to Colossal Cave Road east and Old Vail Road west, while Wentworth Road heads south toward Sahuarita Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 279, Vail Road/Wentworth Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Here, in the seeming endless expanse of desert, Interstate 10 enters the city of Tucson, home to 486,699 people, at an elevation of 2,389 feet. While the city is geographically spread over 195 square miles, it is largely centered around the University of Arizona and downtown. The freeway actually skirts much of the city to the south, and there is no cross freeway to reach the northern areas of town. With so much undeveloped land within its borders, Tucson will continue to rival Phoenix and other Valley of the Sun cities as among the fastest growing areas in the country. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Even though we are officially within Tucson, the junction with Interstate 19 is some 19 miles ahead, and downtown Tucson is two miles further. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The first Tucson exit is Exit 275, Houghton Road, one mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Houghton Road north connects to Old Vail Road, Valencia Road, Escalante Road, Old Spanish Trail, Broadway, Speedway Boulevard, and Catalina Highway. Use Escalante Road to reach the eastern unit of Saguaro National Park; Catalina Highway northeast connects to Mount Lemmon Highway (Mount Lemmon rises 9,157 feet above sea level, and it features a ski area, campground, and hiking areas). Photo taken 03/28/04.
Houghton Road leads south to the Pima County Fairgrounds and Tucson Raceway Park. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 275, Houghton Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 273, Rita Road, one mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Rita Road leads southwest to meet Nogales-Old Vail Connection Road, an east-west road that leads to Business Loop I-19/Tucson-Nogales Highway south of Tucson International Airport. Rita Road north passes Old Vail Road and has connections to Houghton Road and Valencia Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 273, Rita Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 270, which serves Kolb Road and is 2.25 miles west of the Rita Road interchange. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next three exits: Exit 270, Kolb Road; Exit 269, Wilmot Road; and Exit 268, Craycroft Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Kolb Road leads north through the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, passing Golf Links Road, 22nd Street, Broadway, and Speedway Boulevard before turning due west as Grant Road. Much of the area traversed by Kolb Road is suburban in nature. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 270, Kolb Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 10 is Exit 269, Wilmot Road, 0.75 mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next three exits: Exit 269, Wilmot Road; Exit 268, Craycroft Road; and Exit 267, Junction Business Loop I-10/Valencia Road/Tucson-Benson Highway. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 269, Wilmot Road. Wilmot Road heads north through Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before connecting to Valencia Road, Golf Links Road, and 22nd Street. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 268, Craycroft Road, 0.75 mile. Exit 268 actually exits onto the frontage road, and then connects with Craycroft Road. Craycroft Road is a north-south road that leads south to Los Reales Road and north to Littletown Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound for the next three exits: Exit 268, Craycroft Road; Exit 267, Business Loop I-10/Valencia Road/Tucson-Benson Highway; and Exit 265, Alvernon Way north. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 268, Craycroft Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 10 is Exit 267, Junction Business Loop I-10 west/Valencia Road to Tucson International Airport, 0.75 mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Valencia Road is an east-west city street that skims the northern boundary of the Tucson International Airport, then meets Interstate 19 just north of the San Xavier Indian Reservation. The business loop, which is unsigned, follows Valencia Road briefly, then turns northwest along old U.S. 80/Tucson-Benson Highway. It returns to Interstate 10 near Exit 262. While the business loop is shown on most Tucson maps, signage for it is not present in the field. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 267, Junction Business Loop I-10 west/Valencia Road to Tucson-Benson Highway. This is the best exit to reach the Tucson International Airport. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 265, Alvernon Way north. Photo taken 03/28/04.
With a few exceptions in the reconstructed segments of Interstate 10 near downtown Tucson, almost every standalone shield for Interstate 10 in Arizona features the state name. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Since there is no direct connection from westbound Interstate 10 to southbound Alvernon Way, traffic must use Exit 264, Irvington Road south instead. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 approaching Exit 265, Alvernon Way, one half mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound for the next two exits: Exit 265, Alvernon Way north and Exit 264, Palo Verde Road/Irvington Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 265, Alvernon Way north. The next exit is Exit 264, Irvington Road (east-west) and Palo Verde Road (north-south). Alvernon Way north (as well as Palo Verde Road north) leads to the eastern terminus of Arizona 210/Aviation Parkway. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Since the exit to Interstate 19 was closed at the time this photo was taken, an Interstate 19 trailblazer was placed here to point travelers to Irvington Road west toward Interstate 19. Other alternate routes to Interstate 19 south include Ajo Way and Business Loop I-19/6th Avenue. The direct connection from Interstate 10 to Interstate 19 is expected to open in July 2004. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Interstate 10 enters the urban stretch of Tucson as it approaches its next exit, Exit 263, Ajo Way east-west/Kino Parkway north-south, one mile. This interchange is significant because Kino Parkway leads north into the eastern outskirts of downtown Tucson, with connections to Arizona 210/Aviation Parkway. Ajo Way, meanwhile is also major, as it connects with westbound Arizona 86 and Business Loop I-19/6th Avenue and heads east toward Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The Tucson International Airport is also reachable via this exit: Take Kino Parkway/South Campbell Avenue south to the airport. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound for the next two exits: Exit 263, Ajo Way/Kino Parkway and Exit 262, Park Avenue. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Kino Parkway (Exit 263 northbound) is the original planned alignment of Interstate 710; Kino Parkway was constructed as an at-grade expressway to parallel Campbell Avenue, and it is not Interstate standard. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 262, Park Avenue, one half mile along westbound Interstate 10 as seen near the onramp from Kino Parkway. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 approaching Exit 262, Park Avenue, one-quarter mile. Park Avenue leads north to meet Arizona 210/Aviation Parkway nears its western terminus, and it leads south to connect to the Benson-Tucson Highway (unsigned Business Loop I-10) and Tucson International Airport/Business Loop I-19. Photo taken 03/28/04.
This mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 mentions the next two exits for Park Avenue and Business Loop I-19 but omits the Interstate 19 interchange due to reconstruction of that interchange. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 262, Park Avenue. The next exit is Junction Business Loop I-19 (not shown on this particular advance sign)/6th Avenue and 4th Avenue. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 approaching Exit 261, Junction Southbound Business Loop I-19/6th Avenue and 4th Avenue, one-quarter mile. This marks the northern terminus of the business loop, which carries old U.S. 89 through the southern part of Tucson toward Green Valley. Both 6th Avenue and 4th Avenue continue north into downtown Tucson; 6th Avenue used to carry Business Loop I-10 through downtown before it was decommissioned in the mid-1990s. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 261, Junction Southbound Business Loop I-19/6th Avenue and 4th Avenue. The covered signs are for Interstate 19. Since the interchange between Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 is currently being reconstructed, the signs have been covered or removed in anticipation of revised traffic patterns. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Historically, Old U.S. 80 was known as the Spanish Trail, and relics of its colorful past are evident across the Arizona Desert. One of the relics that used the Spanish Trail name is this marquee sign on the offramp/frontage road from Exit 261 to the junction with Business Loop I-19. Photo taken 05/23/03.
Business Loop I-19 begins its southerly journey at this interchange. Prior to the mid-1990s, this interchange was the former eastern end to Business Loop I-10 through downtown Tucson. In addition, prior to the early 1990s, this was part of U.S. 89, which was truncated at Flagstaff and removed from Central and Southern Arizona. There are few Business Loop I-19 shields; this is one of the few at the northern end, and there is no "END" shield assembly. Photo taken 05/23/03.
Westbound Interstate 10 passes under Business Loop I-19/Sixth Avenue here before reaching the Interstate 19 interchange (Exit 260). Photo taken 03/28/04.
Upon completion of the Interstate 10/19 Crossing Project, this signbridge will carry an advance sign for Interstate 19 south to Green Valley and Nogales. Photo taken 03/28/04.
If the ramp to Interstate 19 were open, Exit 260 would also connect to Old Tucson and the Desert Museum. Photo taken 03/28/04.
This is the approximate location of the ramp from westbound Interstate 10 to southbound Interstate 19, but at the time this picture was taken, the ramp remained unconstructed. The project is very close to completion however: It will be done by July 2004. Photo taken 03/28/04.
View of the under construction Interstate 19 stack interchange (locally called "The Crossing") as seen from westbound Interstate 10. For more on the project to improve the Interstate 10/Interstate 19 interchange, visit the official webpage. Photo taken 03/28/04.
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At the time the first photo was taken, Interstate 10 northwest of the Interstate 19 interchange was under construction. In addition to the ramp to southbound Interstate 19 being closed, traffic is temporarily rerouted while the roadway is expanded to accommodate the additional traffic flow. A former ramp leading to 22nd Street was permanently closed as a result of the reconstruction of this area. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 01/18/06.
First view of downtown Tucson as seen from westbound Interstate 10 after the Interstate 19 interchange complex. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit serves the city center of Tucson: Exit 258, to Congress Street, Broadway Boulevard east, St Marys Road west, and Sixth Street east. This sign is of an older design, and additional street names were crammed into the sign, thus forcing the 3/4 mile to be moved to the side rather than at the bottom. Photo taken 08/19/07.
View of the downtown Tucson skyline situated with the Front Range (Pusch Peak, Mount Kimball, and Rattlesnake Peak) in the background. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Exit 258 is a primary exit into downtown Tucson via Congress Street/Broadway Boulevard, complete with access to the Tucson Convention Center (featuring a music hall, the Fremont House, Little Theater, and Arena/Exhibition Hall), the Federal Court House, the Old Southern Pacific Railway Depot (near the southeast quadrant of the intersection between Congress Street and Central Avenue), Arizona state governmental buildings, Pima County Courthouse, Tucson City Hall/Civic Center, and Tucson Library (the last three may be reached via northbound Church Avenue). Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next two exits: Exit 258, Congress Street/Broadway Boulevard and St Marys Road/Sixth Street and Exit 257, Speedway Boulevard. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 258, Congress Street/Broadway Boulevard/St. Marys Road. Upon taking this ramp, the ramp merges onto the frontage road, which connects first with Congress Street (which expands into a couplet to the east as it passes through downtown: Congress Street and Broadway Boulevard), then meets Sixth Street/St. Marys Road. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next two exits: Exit 257, Speedway Boulevard and Exit 256, Grant Road. To reach the isolated Arizona 210 expressway/Aviation Parkway, use Speedway Boulevard east to Park Avenue south. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The University of Arizona is one of several four-year universities located within the Grand Canyon State. The two largest, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University in Tempe, are frequent rivals, both for alumni and for the college sports teams, both of which compete in the Pacific-10 Conference. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 257, Speedway Boulevard, which leads east to the University of Arizona (located between Park Avenue and Campbell Avenue). Photo taken 03/28/04.
This variable message sign is mounted next to the first advance guide sign for Exit 256, Grant Road, one mile. Grant Road heads east toward the Tucson Medical Center and Tucson Botanical Gardens. Heading west, Grant Road becomes Ironwood Hill Drive. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next three exits: Exit 256, Grant Road; Exit 255, Arizona 77 north/Miracle Mile east to Oracle Road; and Exit 254, Prince Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 256, Grant Road. As Interstate 10 is reconstructed through this area, it is likely that this style of sign bridge will be replaced in favor of the tubular sign bridges prevalent at newer interchanges. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Arizona 77, which begins its northerly journey here at Exit 255, is a major eastern Arizona highway. Leaving Tucson via Oracle Road, Arizona 77 follows old U.S. 80-89 to Catalina, then splits from the old route at Arizona 79. Instead, Arizona 77 cuts northeast to pass Oracle, Mammoth, and Globe before merging with U.S. 60 en route to Show Low. At Show Low, Arizona 77 splits north, passes through Snowflake, joins Interstate 40 at Holbrook, and ends upon crossing the Navajo Indian Reservation. A locally maintained route continues from that point north to Arizona 264 near Jeddito. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for the next three exits: Exit 255, Arizona 77 north/Miracle Mile east to Oracle Road; Exit 254, Prince Road; and Exit 252, El Camino Cerro/Ruthrauff Road. Note the proximity of the north/east frontage road; frontage roads were implemented on both sides of the Interstate 10 freeway along the section through Tucson. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound (almost feels like northbound) Interstate 10 at Exit 255, Arizona 77 north and Miracle Mile east. This exit used to serve a former routing of Business Loop I-10, which was decommissioned in 1998. The former business loop used to begin at Exit 261 (Junction Business Loop I-19/6th Avenue), follow the 6th Avenue/Stone Avenue couplet through downtown, turn west on Drachman Street, follow Oracle Road briefly, then turn west on Miracle Mile to reach its western end. When the loop was returned to local control and maintenance, the state business loop signage was removed. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Similar to the many freeways in Phoenix, Tucson has also invested in lively and colorful freeway art that catches the eye. This series of mosaics was placed on the retaining wall that separates the freeway from the exit ramp to Arizona 77/Miracle Mile (Exit 255). Photo taken 03/28/04.
Prince Road forms part of the grid pattern of streets south of the Rillito River and north of downtown, passing by such arterials as Flowing Wells Road, Arizona 77/Oracle Road, First Street, Campbell Avenue, and Country Club Road before ending. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 254, Prince Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 252, El Camino del Cerro and Ruthrauff Road, one mile. El Camino del Cerro heads west over the Santa Cruz River, while Ruthrauff Road heads east to enter the city of Tucson. Passing through Jaynes, Ruthrauff Road becomes Romero Road after passing Cholla Boulevard and turning south. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The first of several unnumbered exits along westbound is Exit 252, El Camino del Cerro and Ruthrauff Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 250, Orange Grove Road, one mile. Orange Grove Road heads east to a hospital and a junction with Arizona 77/Oracle Road. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Interstate 10 enters the town of Marana, the first suburb to the northwest of Tucson, according to this sign just prior to Exit 250. However, the exit for central Marana is not until Exit 236, and the freeway passes by the towns of Cortaro and Rillito before reaching the Marana exit. Photo taken 03/28/04.
At Exit 250, westbound Interstate 10 departs the city of Tucson, even though the freeway remains suburban in nature until passes Exit 246. The city of Tucson occupies much of the valley to the east of the freeway from here, and most of the coming interchanges provide access to roads that lead east into the city (including Ina Road and Cortaro Farms Road). Photo taken 03/28/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 248, Ina Road, one mile. Photo taken 03/28/04.
Ina Road leads east into northern Tucson, passing by the Foothills Mall before reaching the southern edge of the Front Range and Coronado National Forest via Arizona 77/Oracle Road and several intersecting city streets. Heading west, Ina Road crosses the Santa Cruz River, then connects to Saguaro National Park via North Wade Road and Picture Rocks Road. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 248, Ina Road. Photo taken 08/19/07.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 246, Cortaro Road/Cortaro Farms Road, which serves Cortaro. Photo taken 03/28/04.
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Westbound Interstate 10 approaching Exit 246, Cortaro Road/Cortaro Farms Road, 0.50 mile. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
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Cortaro Road heads east into the city of Tucson toward Tucson National Golf Resort; it connects to Arizona 77/Oracle Road via Magee Road. Westbound Cortaro Road crosses the Santa Cruz River and connects to Ina Road. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
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Currently, the final urban exit along westbound is Exit 246, Cortaro Road. There is a widening project underway to widen the freeway all the way to Picacho Peak Road, 27 miles ahead. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
Mileage sign for the next exit (Exit 243/Avra Valley Road), the city of Casa Grande, and the control city of Phoenix. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Although not universally signed as such for its entire length across the southern tier of the country, Interstate 10 is designated the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway. Portions of Interstate 10 (along with Interstate 8) are known as the Border Friendship Route, and a sign along eastbound Interstate 10 in Santa Monica, California, indicates that the freeway is also known as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, but no such signage for that designation exists in Arizona. Photo taken 03/28/04.
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The next exit along westbound exit 242, Avra Valley Road/Rillito, one mile. This is followed by Tangerine Road and Marana Road. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
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Exit 242 serves the town of Rillito, which is situated to the southwest of Interstate 10. Avra Valley Parkway heads west toward Avra Valley Airport, connecting with Ironwood Forest National Monument and Silverbell Road. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
Exit 242 departs here for Avra Valley Road. Photo taken 08/19/07.
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Advance signage for Exit 240, Tangerine Road, one mile, and Marana Road, five miles. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
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The railroad closely parallels Interstate 10 to the northeast as it passes by Exit 240/Tangerine Road. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
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Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 240, Tangerine Road. Tangerine Road heads west to meet Sandario Road and east to Arizona 77 near Coronado National Forest and Catalina State Park. Photo taken 03/28/04. Second photo taken 08/19/07.
The 2006-07 widening projects ended here, just past Tangerine Road. The left lane ends here, leaving Interstate 10 as a two lane highway all the way to Queen Creek Road, exit 163. Photo taken 08/19/07.
This mileage sign along westbound represents the distance to the Marana exit, followed by the distance to the Interstate 8 interchange (Exit 199), and the control city of Phoenix. Photo taken 08/19/07.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 236, which serves the town of Marana. A relatively new town, Marana was incorporated in 1977 and has approximately 20,000 residents as of 2000. However, much of the region was settled for decades prior to incorporation. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Exit 236 is the last exit into the town of Marana, a town that was heavily impacted by the coming of Interstate 10. On the "History/About Us" section of the town's website: "In 1961, the Arizona Highway Department and the federal government removed most of the Marana business district to widen Interstate 10. The high school, several of the shops, and the businesses relocated but were not centralized and ended up scattered throughout the area. Consequently there is no "Main Street" in north Marana yet and the business district in southern Marana has become the main shopping region. Photo taken 03/28/04.
The last exit along westbound Interstate 10 in Pima County is Exit 236, Marana. Photo taken 08/19/07.
Mileage sign along westbound Interstate 10 for Exit 232, Pinal Air Park Road; the city of Casa Grande, and the control city of Phoenix. Photo taken 08/19/07.


 


Photo Credits:

  • 05/23/03 by AARoads.
  • 03/28/04 by AARoads.
  • 01/18/06 by Kevin Trinkle.
  • 08/19/07 by Kevin Trinkle.

Connect with:
Interstate 19
Arizona 83

Page Updated 02-22-2009.