U.S. 191

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U.S. 191 is the main north-south corridor in Eastern Arizona. Replacing old U.S. 666 between Douglas and Sanders in 1992, U.S. 191 became a border to boarder route when it was extended north to Malta, Montana, in 1997.

U.S. 191 Arizona Guides

U.S. 191 was established in 1932 as U.S. 666 from U.S. 80 near Douglas, north through Willcox and Safford to Springerville, then north to Sanders and U.S. 66, where the road traveled east into New Mexico as a multiplex. The road was paved slowly, and the Coronado Trail section between Clifton and Alpine was not completely paved until 1963.

Former U.S. 666 was extended south from Douglas to the Mexican Border in 1961, but was truncated back to U.S. 80 in 1971. In 1971, the remaining short section to the Border was renumbered to Business U.S. 666, and changed to Business U.S. 191 in 1992.

U.S. 191 is a scenic road between Clifton and Alpine, but one to be taken slowly. Some observers have counted over 400 curves along the 90 miles of road between the two, most of which must be taken at 25 MPH or less.

The section of U.S. 191 north of Clifton was rerouted in 1974 due to growth at the Morenci mine. It is still known as a Temporary route, with plans to further realign it due to the growth of the Morenci open-pit mine. In 1968, Arizona DOT started work on a realignment of the road, but abandoned it after only a few miles due to terrain and financial issues. Arizona DOT still wants to realign the road north of Clifton past the Morenci mine, but it remains to be seen whether it happens without financial assistance from Freeport McMoran.

U.S. 191 in Arizona only travels between Arizona 80 at Douglas and U.S. 160 at Mexican Hat. From U.S. 160 north into Utah, the five miles of highway are designated Indian Route 12 and maintained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. No U.S. 191 signposts are found along this road southbound from Utah to U.S. 160.

1966 Reroute of US 666 Map

The proposed 1966 reroute of U.S. 191 northward to Milepost 195. Only the first few miles (in purple) were ever constructed - the green line reflects a survey line only. ADOT had this route on the books until 1997, when the right-of-way was relinquished. The map does not convey how rough the terrain along the proposed route was.

U.S. 191 South
U.S. 91 ends at Arizona Route 80 (former U.S. 80) on the west side of Douglas. SR 80 (16th Street) leads east 1.5 miles to Pan American Avenue, which is U.S. 191 Business south to the border crossing. Photo taken 05/24/03.
The realignment of Chino Road will tie into this intersection, joining the south end of U.S. 191 with a new border crossing west of U.S. 191B in Douglas. Photo taken 05/24/03.
U.S. 191 Business - Douglas
U.S. 191 Business shield assembly along Pan American Avenue north at 3rd Street, just beyond the port of entry. Photo taken 05/24/03.
U.S. 191 Business concludes at the turn of SR 80 at G Avenue and Pan American Avenue. The mainline of U.S. 191 begins a mile and a half to the west. Photo taken 05/24/03.
1st Street represents the last turn off along U.S. 191 Business (Pan American Avenue) southbound before the border crossing into Mexico. Photo taken 05/24/03.

Sources:
  1. Minutes of the State Highway Commission. 3/5/1968. Arizona Highway Commission.


Photo Credits:

05/24/03 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 10
U.S. 160
State Route 80 / Historic U.S. 80

Page Updated 02-15-2012.