Former Business Loop I-10 Benson Highway
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 approaching Kino Parkway. Kino Parkway leads north to meet Interstate 10 and SR 210. At one time, Kino Parkway was planned to be Interstate 710, but the parkway was not constructed to Interstate standards. 05/24/03
Business Loop I-10 Benson - East
View of the San Pedro Valley as seen along eastbound just after the Interstate 10 exit. 03/26/04
As noted on this sign, Benson was founded in 1880, and it was a major crossroads for the railroad until 1910. Today, Benson is located at a major intersection between Interstate 10 and SR 80, which brings traffic from the international border crossings at Douglas and Naco. 03/26/04
View of the city of Benson in the San Pedro Valley as seen from eastbound. 03/26/04
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 passes through downtown Benson, population 4,711 as of 2000. 03/26/04
Business Loop I-10 eastbound approaches its interchange with SR 80 just east of downtown. 03/26/04
This old overhead sign along eastbound Business Loop I-10 indicates that the return to Interstate 10 is made by staying in the left lane; the right lane heads southeast toward the historic cities of Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas. 03/26/04
Business Loop I-10 eastbound and SR 80 southeastbound separate here at this grade separation. Historically, U.S. 80 followed SR 80, while SR 86 continued straight ahead along the business loop. SR 86 (and New Mexico 14) between Benson and Steins, New Mexico, were replaced with Interstate 10, while U.S. 80 headed southeast to Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas (and then northeast back to Steins). In its day, this was a major interchange. 03/26/04
Business Loop I-10 Benson - West
After its intersection with SR 80, Business Loop I-10/former U.S. 80 approaches downtown Benson, at an elevation of 3,585 feet in the San Pedro Valley. As of 2000, Benson boasts a population of 4,711. 03/28/04
This picture shows downtown Benson along westbound Business Loop I-10/former U.S. 80 at the intersection with Patagonia Street. Note the old-style Dairy Queen sign in the background. 03/28/04
Finally, Business Loop I-10/former U.S. 80 approaches Interstate 10. There are connections to both directions of Interstate 10; Interstate 10 east leads to Willcox, Bowie, and San Simon. Interstate 10 west leads to Tucson, Phoenix, and ultimately Los Angeles/Santa Monica, California. 03/28/04
The old expressway divides here, with the westbound lanes preparing to merge onto Interstate 10, and the eastbound lanes directly connecting from the freeway as seen in this picture. 03/28/04
Reaching its western terminus, Business Loop I-10/former U.S. 80 reaches the freeway at the edge of town. 03/28/04
Business Loop I-10 Willcox
At the end of the offramp from eastbound Interstate 10 is this shield. It is still a couple miles from here east to Willcox. 05/24/03
Passing through vast desert expanses en route to Willcox, Business Loop I-10 passes through a few small settlements before reaching downtown. Known for its notorious cattle ranching past, Willcox has expanded into more agricultural endeavors in recent years. 05/24/03
Once in downtown Willcox, eastbound Business Loop I-10 meets SR 186, which is three miles east of the location of this sign. Eastbound SR 186 connects to Chiricahua National Monument. Known as the "Wonderland of Rocks," the Chiricahua Mountains are home to a variety of fascinating rock formations, including Totem Pole and the Mushroom. Hiking trails cross the area, connecting the park headquarters with the rock formations. 05/24/03
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 finally enters the urban fringes of Willcox several miles after leaving the Interstate. 05/24/03
2 photos
2 photos
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 at SR 186. Eastbound SR 186 meets SR 181 to the southeast, then leads to its terminus in Chiricahua National Monument. The monument is located within the Coronado National Forest. Westbound SR 186 merges onto eastbound Business Loop I-10, thus creating a wrong-way duplex (where two routes share pavement that are ostensibly headed in seemingly opposing directions). 05/24/03
Eastbound Business Loop I-10/Westbound SR 186 pass through downtown Willcox together, as evidenced by this shield assembly. This photo features a signage error: the directional banner is supposed to read "WEST" not "EAST" for SR 186. To verify this error further, there is no way this picture could have been this clear in the other direction: it was taken in the late afternoon. 0000
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 and Westbound SR 186 approaching Junction Westbound SR 186. This intersection is located just outside of the downtown portion of Willcox. 05/24/03
Eastbound Business Loop I-10 at Junction Westbound SR 186. SR 186 leads east from here to meet Interstate 10 and U.S. 191 at Exit 340; Business Loop I-10 continues straight ahead in a northeasterly direction to rejoin Interstate 10 and U.S. 191 at Exit 344. 05/24/03
Business Loop I-10 reaches its eastern end at its junction with Interstate 10 (and unsigned U.S. 191). 05/24/03
Business Loop I-10 returns to Interstate 10 east of town at this full interchange. 05/24/03
Arriving at the split between eastbound/westbound Interstate 10, U.S. 191 is also signed. Interstate 10 west leads to Benson and Tucson; Interstate 10 east leads to Lordsburg and Las Cruces; U.S. 191 north leads to Safford and Clifton; and U.S. 191 south leads to Douglas and the International Border with Mexico. 05/24/03
Once on the ramp to eastbound Interstate 10, the onramp extends for a good distance before reaching the freeway, hence the placement of these signs along the way. 05/24/03
Business Loop I-10 scenes
Interstate 10 trailblazer shield taken near Ehrenburg, just across the Colorado River from Blythe, California. 11/10/00
East/West Interstate 10 Arizona shields at Exit 1, Ehrenburg. There should also be U.S. 95 shields here, since Interstate 10 and U.S. 95 are cosigned between Blythe and Quartzsite. 11/10/00

Photo Credits:

11/10/00, 05/24/03, 03/26/04, 03/28/04 by AARoads

Connect with:
State Route 80 / Historic U.S. 80
State Route 186
Barraza-Aviation Parkway

Page Updated 04-24-2004.

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