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US 60 is a US Highway in the US state of Arizona. The road forms an east-west junction in the state, spanning a portion west of the city of Phoenix and east of it. The portion west of it runs from Quartzsite at Interstate 10 through a remote desert area to Wickenburg and from there as a major main route to Phoenix. East of Phoenix, US 60 forms the Superstition Freeway and serves the huge suburb of Mesa. The highway section ends at Apache Junction and US 60 continues through mountainous terrain via Globe to the New Mexico border. The route is a total of 594 kilometers long.
A little east of the town of Quartzsite, US 60 branches off from Interstate 10, the highway from Los Angeles to Phoenix. This area is a desolate desert with rugged mountains. The road heads northeast, more or less parallel to I-10, but some distance away. Parts of the desert have been irrigated to allow agriculture. There are only a few villages on the route to Wickenburg over a distance of 130 kilometres. At the village of Aguila, SR-71 turns off, a route that leads to the larger town of Prescott in the northeast. You then reach Wickenburg, a small town in the desert. From here US 93 goes to Kingman and Las Vegas, and US 60 will become a more important route for through traffic between Phoenix and Las Vegas. The road then has 2×2 lanes, but is not a highway. About 45 kilometers after Wickenburg you reach the first suburbs of Phoenix.
The Superstition Freeway in Phoenix.
In the west of the Phoenix metropolitan area, US 60 is a multi-lane highway, but not a freeway. The first suburb is the very fast-growing city of Surprise with 86,000 inhabitants. The US 60 is called the Grand Avenue here. You then enter the suburb Peoria, which has 142,000 inhabitants. Here one also crosses the SR-101, the outer ring of Phoenix. One then enters the suburb of Glendale, which has a population of 247,000. The suburbs in the desert cities are much larger than those in the eastern United States. One then reaches the city of Phoenix itself, which has one and a half million inhabitants. US 60 runs through Phoenix via Interstate 17 and Interstate 10.
At Tempe, a suburb of 170,000 people, US 60 branches off I-10 and forms an individual highway, the Superstition Freeway. The highway has 2×3 lanes, and runs due east. In the largest suburb of the United States, Mesa, one crosses SR-101, a beltway east of Phoenix. Mesa has 460,000 inhabitants. In Mesa, US 60 has 2×6 lanes. HOV lanes are also present here. After Mesa comes the suburb of Gilbert, which has 192,000 inhabitants. On the east side of Gilbert, one crosses SR-202, the ring road around Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler. The highway then continues for a few more miles until Apache Junction, where the road turns into a regular main road.
East of the Phoenix metropolitan area, you quickly enter mountainous terrain, passing the town of Globe, where US 70 exits toward southern New Mexico. The area east of Arizona is sparsely populated, and domain of the Apache Indians. US 60 heads slightly northeast, crossing the New Mexico border just east of Springerville.
The Queen Creek Tunnel from 1952.
Originally, the western terminus of US 60 was in Springfield, Missouri. In 1932 this was extended to Arizona and further to Los Angeles. In the early 1960s, the part west of Quartzsite was replaced by the construction of Interstate 10, with which US 60 has started in Arizona ever since. The road has undergone relatively little modification throughout history, except in the Phoenix metropolitan area . Until the 1980s, US 60 handled all through traffic between Los Angeles and Phoenix, as I-10 west of Phoenix was not completed until 1972 and 1988. US 60 is the only US Highway serving Phoenix.
According to itypeusa, in 1926 the first Queen Creek Tunnel opened between Superior and Top-of-the-World. Between 1950 and 1952, a more modern road through the mountains was built that has a higher design speed. This project also included a new and longer Queen Creek Tunnel.
In 1949, a more modern route of US 60 opened between Top-of-the-World and Miami. This included the Pinto Creek Bridge, a heritage-listed arch bridge that received the award of ‘most beautiful steel bridge’ from the American Institute of Steel Construction when it opened. This bridge was replaced in 2019-2020. The bridge is the only road connection in the wider region, during the project there were short closures, during which traffic between Superior and Globe had to make a 120 kilometer detour via Winkelman.
The Superstition Freeway runs through the major suburbs east of Phoenix and was built to keep up with growth eastward. The first section opened in 1970, then extended eastward during the 1970s and 1980s. A lot of attention was paid to aesthetics during the construction of the highway, the highway was largely sunken to hide it from view. In 2000, the western section was widened from I-10 to Val Vista Drive (exit 184), and further east to Ellsworth Road (exit 191) in 2007.
|Exit 171||Exit 173||3 km||1970|
|Exit 173||Exit 176||5 km||1975|
|Exit 176||Exit 177||2 km||1977|
|Exit 177||Exit 179||3 km||1979|
|Exit 179||Exit 182||5 km||1981|
|Exit 182||Exit 184||3 km||11-02-1983|
|Exit 184||Exit 188||6 km||1985|
|Exit 188||Exit 199||18 km||1992|
The Pinto Creek Bridge west of Globe.
US 60 at Indian School Road in Phoenix.
|Quartz site – Phoenix|
|Phoenix (western suburbs)|
|Happy Valley Road||18,000||21,200|
|83rd Avenue / Peoria Avenue||28,000||30,300|
|59th Avenue / Glendale Avenue||32,000||39,100|
|35th Avenue / Indian School Road||32,000||38,300|
|Exit xxx Priest Drive||173,000||179,300|
|Exit 173 Mill Avenue||181,000||194.700|
|Exit 174 Rural Road||186,000||198,800|
|Exit 175 McClintock Drive||150,000||160,700|
|Exit 177 Dobson Road||227,000||221,600|
|Exit 178 Alma School Road||219,000||221,600|
|Exit 179 Country Club Drive||208,000||192,000|
|Exit 180 Mesa Drive||218,000||232,500|
|Exit 181 Stapley Drive||211,000||227,300|
|Exit 182 Gilbert Road||187,000||202,200|
|Exit 184 Val Vista Drive||172,000|
|Exit 185 Greenfield Road||164,000||179.100|
|Exit 186 Higley Road||139,000||151,700|
|Exit 187 Superstition Springs Boulevard||115,000||127,300|
|Exit 188 Power Road||131,000||147,700|
|Exit 189 Sossaman Road||96,000||105,000|
|Exit 191 Ellsworth Road||93,000||88,000|
|Exit 192 Crismon Road||71,000||88.100|
|Exit 193 Signal Butte Road||71,000||72,600|
|Exit 195 Ironwood Drive||53,000||45,800|
|Exit 196 Idaho Road||29,000||34,000|
|Exit 197 Tomahawk Road||26,000||29,000|
|Exit 198 Goldfield Road||36,000||28,100|
|Gold Canyon – New Mexico|
|East of Globe||2,500||3,600|
|New Mexico state line||500||700|