Arizona State Route 86

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State Route 86

SR 86 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ADOT
Length118.10 mi[1] (190.06 km)
Major junctions
West end SR 85 in Why
Major intersections I-19 in Tucson
East end16th Avenue in Tucson
CountryUnited States
Highway system
  • Arizona State Highway System
SR 85 SR 87

State Route 86 (or SR 86) is a state highway in southern Arizona that stretches from its junction with State Route 85 in Why east to its junction at 16th Avenue east of Interstate 19 in Tucson. It formerly went east to the New Mexico border near Lordsburg, but this eastern segment has been superseded by Interstate 10. SR 86 is the primary east–west highway through the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Route description

The western terminus of SR 86 is located at a junction with SR 85 in Why. From this intersection, the highway heads southeast, but curves towards the east as it enters the Papago Indian Reservation. It continues towards the east passing through the communities of Schuchuli, Gunsight, Wahak Hotrontk, Plato Vaya, and Maish Vaya before curving towards the southeast near Quijotoa. It continues southeast until curves towards the east in Sells. It curves towards the northeast near Ali Chukson and curves back to the east near San Pedro. The highway curves towards the northeast just prior to leaving the reservation. SR 86 curves towards the east as it enters Tucson. In Tucson, the highway continues east past an interchange with I-19 to 16th Avenue, which serves as its eastern terminus.[2][3]


Early highway shield used along SR 86.

SR 86 was originally designated in 1930, between Willcox and Bowie. In 1931, it was extended west to Benson and east to the New Mexico state line, effectively serving as a direct bypass to the US 80 Douglas loop.[4][5] From 1927 to 1960, the remainder of the bypass between the Arizona border and Road Forks, New Mexico was served by New Mexico State Road 14.[6] SR 86 was further extended through Tucson and the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation to Ajo in 1943.[5] SR 85 was extended south from Ajo to Lukeville in 1955, establishing a concurrency with SR 86 to Why. In 1970, SR 86 had its eastern end truncated to US 89 (later State Business Route 19) in Tucson after being replaced by I-10 between Tucson and New Mexico. In 1991, the concurrency with SR 85 between Ajo and Why was removed, truncating the western end of SR 86 to Why.[7] In 2003, SR 19 Bus. was removed, truncating the eastern end of SR 86 to 16th Avenue east of I-19.[8]

The Census Designated Place of Why was named after the "Y" shaped intersection between SR 85 and SR 86. The intersection has since been rebuilt into a "T" shaped intersection.[8]

Junction list

The entire route is in Pima County.

Why0.000.00 SR 85 – Lukeville, AjoWestern terminus; SR 85 north is former SR 86 west
81.01130.37 SR 386 – Kitt PeakNorthern terminus of SR 386
Robles Junction97.11156.28 SR 286 – SasabeNorthern terminus of SR 286
I-19 to I-10 – Nogales, Phoenix, El Paso
I-19 exit 99
118.11190.0816th AvenueEastern terminus; road continues as Ajo Way; former SR 86 east
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Arizona Department of Transportation. "2012 ADOT Highway Log Mileage Summaries Booklet" (PDF). Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Arizona Department of Transportation. "2013 ADOT Highway Log" (PDF). Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Google (2008-04-25). "overview map of SR 86" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  4. ^ H., Alan (November 18, 2007). "US 80". Arizona Roads. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Arizona 86". Arizona @ AAroads. AARoads. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  6. ^ Riner, Steve (19 January 2008). "New Mexico Highways". pp. State Routes 1–25. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  7. ^ Staff. "ADOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1991-08-A-062". Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Hamilton, Allan (17 November 2007). "AZ 86". Arizona Roads. Retrieved 13 April 2015.

External links