Interstate 17

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Interstate 17

Arizona Veterans Highway
I-17 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ADOT
Length145.93 mi[1] (234.85 km)
HistoryCompleted in 1978
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-10 / US 60 in Phoenix
Major intersections
North end I-40 / SR 89A in Flagstaff
CountryUnited States
CountiesMaricopa, Yavapai, Coconino
Highway system
  • Arizona State Highway System
I-15 I-19

Interstate 17 (I-17) is a north–south Interstate Highway entirely within the US state of Arizona. I-17's southern terminus lies in Phoenix, at I-10/US 60 and its northern terminus is in Flagstaff, at Milton Road north of I-40.[1]

Most of I-17 is known as the Arizona Veterans Highway. In the Phoenix metropolitan area, it is mostly known as the Black Canyon Freeway, however, the southern 4.16 miles (6.69 km) are part of the Maricopa Freeway. The portion of the highway south of Cordes Lakes was built along the alignment of State Route 69 (SR 69), while the northern part was built along old SR 79's alignment. The final section of I-17 was completed in 1978.

I-17 gains more than one mile (1.6 km) in altitude between Phoenix at 1,117 feet (340 m) and Flagstaff at 7,000 feet (2,100 m). The highway features several scenic view exits along its route that overlook the many mountains and valleys in northern Arizona.

Route description

I-17 is known as the Black Canyon Freeway from the northern end of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area to a point 2.2 miles (3.5 km) south of The Stack interchange with I-10 northwest of Downtown Phoenix. (It is accompanied by frontage roads for most of this portion, and they carry the Black Canyon Highway name to distinguish from the freeway status.) At the Durango Curve southwest of downtown, between the 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road interchanges, it picks up the designation Maricopa Freeway all the way to the southern terminus at the second I-10 junction. It is one of the metropolitan area's primary freeways.[3][4] It has two interchanges with I-10 in Phoenix.[4]

I-17 has the unusual distinction of starting at approximately milepost 194 instead of at milepost 0.[5] This is a holdover from Arizona's old system of marking mileposts, where a branching route would continue the milepost numbering of its original host, instead of starting over at zero. I-17 inherited its milepost locations from SR 69, which the freeway replaced between Phoenix and Cordes Junction.[6] SR 69's mileposting was such that it coincided with US 89's mileposting, which was 201.6 where the two routes intersected. When I-17 was constructed, the existing mileposting for SR 69 was retained.[3]


The I-17 corridor roughly follows the Apache Trail, a trail that traversed the Superstition Mountains used by indigenous peoples of the area as well as stagecoaches in the 20th century. The first stagecoach route through Black Canyon was established in 1878 between Cañon (now Black Canyon City) and Prescott. A later highway through White Spar from Wickenburg to Yarnell was improved in 1925 and incorporated into US 89 in 1926.[7]

In 1936, SR 69 was established as a state route from Phoenix north to Prescott.[8][9] The road was completed by 1940 to Prescott. In 1954, a new route north to Flagstaff was established as SR 79. In May 1956, the Black Canyon Highway from Phoenix to Flagstaff was completed,[7] but not to Interstate standards.[10] It was incorporated into the new Interstate Highway System, established by the federal government later that year, and designated as part of I-17.[7]

The first interchange on the Black Canyon Freeway was built in 1950 west of downtown Phoenix and was extended to Grand Avenue in 1957.[2][7] The freeway was extended to McDowell Road by 1971 and out of the Phoenix suburbs by 1974, at a cost of $33 million.[2] By 1971, I-17 had been completed from Phoenix northward to Camp Verde where a short stretch had not been completed to standards. The stretch from SR 279 (now SR 260) north to SR 179 was also complete. The largest section yet to be completed was from SR 179 north to Flagstaff. This segment was still just a two-lane roadway, but it did have full traffic interchanges built at crossroads. The portion from I-40 south to the Flagstaff Municipal Airport had been completed by this time.[11] The final section of I-17, near Camp Verde and Montezuma Castle, began construction in February 1977 and opened to traffic in August 1978.[7][12]

In 1993, officials in Arizona proposed an extension of I-17 to connect with I-15 in Utah.[13]

The existing interchange with Happy Valley Road in Phoenix was converted to a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). The project was finished in the fall of 2020.[14]


Due to increasing weekend traffic on I-17 between the Phoenix area and northern Arizona, ADOT plans to widen a 34-mile (55 km) section of freeway between Anthem and Sunset Point Rest Area. The current span is only four lanes wide and is subject to frequent traffic jams on weekends as motorists travel to and from Sedona, Flagstaff, or other high country destinations. A third lane will be added in both directions between Anthem and Black Canyon City, but due to the mountainous topography north of Black Canyon City to Sunset Point, two flex lanes will be added in a separate carriageway next to the existing southbound lanes. The lanes would be allocated depending on peak traffic direction. Gates or a similar mechanism would control access to these lanes.[15] Construction began in 2022 and is scheduled to be completed in 2025.[15][16]

Exit list

I-10 / US 60 east – Globe, Tucson
Southern end of US 60 concurrency; southern terminus; Maricopa Freeway continues east as I-10/US 60; I-10 exit 150A
I-10 west – Sky Harbor
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; I-10 exit 150
1.141.83195A16th StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
2.153.46195B7th Street / Central AvenueNo southbound signage for Central Avenue
3.165.091967th Avenue / Central AvenueNo northbound signage for Central Avenue
4.166.6919719th Avenue / Durango StreetNo northbound signage for Durango Street
Durango Curve; Maricopa Freeway transitions to the Black Canyon Freeway
5.038.10198Buckeye Road (Historic US 80)Northbound exit only
5.348.59199AGrant Street / Buckeye Road (Historic US 80)No northbound signage for Buckeye Road
5.739.22199BJefferson StreetSouthbound exit only
5.889.46Adams Street / Van Buren StreetNorthbound exit and entrance only; Van Buren Street is former I-10 BL
6.4910.44200A I-10 – Central Phoenix, Los AngelesThe Stack; I-10 exit 143
7.0511.35200BMcDowell Road / Van Buren StreetNo northbound signage for Van Buren Street
7.8412.62Grand AvenueClosed in the 1980s; former US 60/US 70/US 89/SR 93
US 60 west (Thomas Road) / Grand Avenue
Northern end of US 60 concurrency; no southbound signage for Grand Avenue
9.0814.61202Indian School Road
10.0816.22203Camelback Road
11.0917.85204Bethany Home Road
12.0919.46205Glendale Avenue
13.0921.07206Northern Avenue
14.1422.76207Dunlap Avenue
15.1324.35208Peoria Avenue
16.1325.96209Cactus Road
17.1227.55210Thunderbird Road
18.1229.16211Greenway Road
19.1330.79212Bell Road
20.1532.43214A-BUnion Hills Drive / Yorkshire DriveSigned separately as exits 214A (Union Hills) and 214B (Yorkshire) northbound; Union Hills Dr. was formerly signed as exit 213
21.1133.97214C Loop 101Loop 101 exits 23B-C; northbound entrance includes direct exit ramp onto Deer Valley Road (exit 215B)
215Rose Garden Lane / Deer Valley RoadSigned as exit 215A northbound and 215B southbound
23.2737.45217Pinnacle Peak Road
24.1938.93218Happy Valley Road
25.2340.60219Jomax Road
27.2543.85220Dixileta DriveNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Loop 303 south (Bob Stump Memorial Parkway) / Sonoran Desert Drive
Loop 303 exit 137; future clockwise terminus of Loop 303
Northern terminus of Black Canyon Freeway
29.1746.94222Dove Valley Road
SR 74 west (Carefree Highway) – Wickenburg
Signed as exits 223A (east) and 223B (west) northbound; eastern terminus of SR 74
Anthem31.7051.02225Pioneer Road
33.2153.45227Daisy Mountain Drive
35.2456.71229Anthem Way
New River38.2061.48232New River
42.1867.88236Table Mesa Road
county line
Black Canyon City48.2977.72242Black Canyon City, Rock SpringsFormer I-17 BL north
Yavapai50.5681.37244Black Canyon CityFormer I-17 BL south
54.3687.48248Bumble Bee, Crown King
58.4894.11252Sunset Point Rest Area and Scenic ViewFrontage roads provide all-direction access to a unified Rest Area / Scenic View off west side of freeway
61.8599.54256Badger Springs Road
Cordes Lakes65.23104.98259Bloody Basin Road
SR 69 north / Cordes Lakes Road – Prescott
Northbound exit and southbound entrance

Arcosanti Road to SR 69 north – Prescott
Northbound exit signed as Arcosanti Road only
74.53119.94268Orme Road / Dugas Road
SR 169 south – Dewey-Humboldt, Prescott
Northern terminus of SR 169
89.04143.30Runaway Truck rampNorthbound left exit and southbound left entrance
Camp Verde91.31146.95285General Crook Trail
SR 260 to SR 89A – Cottonwood, Payson
Former SR 279
95.74154.08289Montezuma Castle National Monument
Lake Montezuma99.04159.39293
CR 30 west – McGuireville, Cornville, Montezuma Well
Eastern terminus of CR 30
McGuireville Rest Areas
SR 179 north – Sedona
Southern terminus of SR 179
112.09180.39306Stoneman Lake Road
Coconino118.67190.98Scenic View (southbound only)
121.37195.33315Rocky Park Road
123.65199.00317Fox Ranch Road
126.29203.24320Schnebly Hill Road
Munds Park128.51206.82322Munds Park
129.04207.67Christensen Rest Areas; closed
132.01212.45326Willard Springs Road
134.55216.54328Newman Park Road
136.90220.32331Kelly Canyon Road
Kachina Village139.65224.74333Kachina Boulevard / Mountainaire Road
SR 89A south (John Wesley Powell Boulevard) – Sedona, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport
Southern end of SR 89A concurrency
145.55234.24339Lake Mary Road – Mormon LakeNorthbound exit only
145.76234.58340 I-40 – Los Angeles, Albuquerque

SR 89A north – Flagstaff, Grand Canyon
Northern end of SR 89A concurrency; signed as exits 340A (east) and 340B (west); I-40 exit 195; freeway continues as SR 89A north (former SR 79)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Former business route

State Business Route 17

LocationBlack Canyon City
Length3 mi (4.8 km)

State Business Route 17 (also known as SR 17 Bus.) was a former three-mile (4.8 km) business loop of I-17 that served the west side of Black Canyon City, Arizona. SR 17 Bus. followed Old Black Canyon Highway (formerly SR 69 before I-17 replaced most of the route between Phoenix and Cordes Junction) from exit 242 south of town at a diamond interchange to another diamond interchange at exit 244 north of town. The business route was subsequently transferred from state to local maintenance and because of ADOT's policy of not signing business loops on nonstate maintained roadways, the route was decommissioned in 2011.[17]

Major intersections
The entire route was in Black Canyon City.

county line
0.0000.000 I-17 – Phoenix, FlagstaffSouthern terminus; I-17 exit 242
Yavapai3.0004.828 I-17 – Flagstaff, PhoenixNorthern terminus; I-17 exit 244
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b Arizona Department of Transportation (October 25, 2022). "ADOT National Highway System Map" (Map). ADOT ArcGIS. Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Nothaft, Mark (February 21, 2017). "Which freeway came first in the Valley?". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Roadway Inventory Management Section, Multimodal Planning Division (December 31, 2013). "2013 State Highway System Log" (PDF). Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Google (February 15, 2008). "Overview map of I-17" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Multimodal Planning Division (January 2014). Phoenix Area Milepost System (PDF) (Map). Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  6. ^ LaBarbera, John (May 19, 2022). "Throwback Thursday: Future I-17". ADOT Blog. Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e Corbett, Peter (September 21, 2018). "How the I-17 Black Canyon Freeway evolved from stage route to modern highway". ADOT Blog. Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  8. ^ Arizona and New Mexico Road Map (Map). Rand McNally. 1938. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Arizona Department of Transportation. "ADOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1936-P-624". Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  10. ^ State Highway Department Road Map of Arizona (Map). Rand McNally. 1961. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  11. ^ State Highway Department Road Map of Arizona (Map). Arizona State Highway Department. 1971. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "Last Link of I-17 To Open in August". The Arizona Republic. May 18, 1978. p. 15. Retrieved November 6, 2022 – via
  13. ^ "Arizona officials seek extension of I-17 into Utah". Deseret News. Associated Press. January 2, 1993. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "Happy Valley Road". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  15. ^ a b "Recommended Build Alternative - I-17: Anthem Way to Sunset Point". Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  16. ^ "First girders installed on Interstate 17 improvement project". April 4, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  17. ^ "Interstate Business Route 17". Retrieved November 6, 2020.

External links