Abandoned U.S. 60

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Between 1946 and 1952, a number of projects were undertaken to rebuild U.S. 60, with the most notable ones between Superior and Miami / Globe. Over 144 miles were rebuilt during this time frame. Many of these old alignments are still visible, due to the dry desert air and ADOT's policy during the post-World War II era of building completely new alignments rather than widening old ones.

The original "winding ladder" road was constructed in 1921. This road was bypassed between 1949 and 1952 with construction of the Queen Creek Bridge and Queen Creek Tunnel. Photos taken November 11, 2006.

US 60 Pinto Wash, AZ Map

The original 1922 alignment of U.S. 60, and the 1949 reroute of the road at Pinto Wash.

Old U.S. 60 west at Pinto Wash
This short section of former U.S. 60 profiled here was abandoned in 1949, after the construction of the Pinto Wash arch bridge. This road was still drivable for many years, but is no longer drivable. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The old road travels above the present-day alignment. Several washouts have occurred in old culverts where the road cuts were made. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Several road cuts for the realignment of U.S. 60 were made adjacent to the old roadway. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Vegetation growth along the old roadbed of U.S. 60. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The present-day Pinto Wash bridge in relation to the 1922 road. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The old road turns south to enter Pinto Wash canyon, making a gradual descent to a low crossing of the wash, unlike the high bridge in place on the realignment of U.S. 60. Photo taken 09/22/08.
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2 photos
Blind curves and a narrow width of 22 feet before overgrowth were reasons why U.S. 60 at Pinto Wash was rerouted. Photos taken 09/22/08.
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2 photos
Original dry rock walls, which amazingly enough are still holding, after decades of no maintenance and over 80 years after construction. Photos taken 09/22/08.
The old road crosses a side canyon on fill, then turns back west toward Pinto Wash proper. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Looking south into the canyon at the low culvert and rock wall that crosses Pinto Wash. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The low road cuts can be seen in the canyon walls. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Rock slides reclaimed portions of the old road. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Old U.S. 60 east at Pinto Wash
Banked curves that were common on roads from this time frame. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Old U.S. 60 matched the area topography more closely than later alignments do. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Looking across Pinto Wash at retaining walls and the abandoned highway. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Overgrowth renders the abandoned road only passable by foot or bicycle. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The faded white center line, probably dating back to the late 1940s, remained on portions of the old road. Photo taken 09/22/08.
This view, looking along one of the retaining walls, shows the present-day road in the background and the old road in the foreground. Photo taken 09/22/08.
This blind curve leads out of Pinto Wash canyon, heading east towards Miami. Photo taken 09/22/08.
Looking across Pinto Wash at the roadbed on the far side of the canyon. Photo taken 09/22/08.
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2 photos
Another sharp curve along the 1948 roadway. Photos taken 09/22/08.
This view looks down on the modern Pinto Wash bridge. Photo taken 09/22/08.
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2 photos
Former U.S. 60 turns east along a hillside overlooking U.S. 60. Photos taken 09/22/08.
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2 photos
While this road was drivable for many years, erosion has taken a toll. Photos taken 09/22/08.
This ADOT right of way marker is in the middle of the old roadway for U.S. 60. Photo taken 09/22/08.
The correlation between old U.S. 60 and the present-day road. Photo taken 09/22/08.
This is the last washout before reaching FS349, and the first washout that makes this old road impassable. Photo taken 09/22/08.
This is where the old road meets FS349 and heads down to the present-day alignment of U.S. 60. Photo taken 09/22/08.



Photo Credits:

09/22/08 by Kevin Trinkle

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U.S. 60

Page Updated 10-19-2008.