For many years, Main Street in Mesa was part of a major coast-to-coast, border-to-border highway. The importance of Main Street to the development of Mesa prompted the Mesa Historic Preservation Board and Mesa Preservation Foundation to create a way to remember the significance. As a result, six historic signs noting that Main Street was part of the original routes of U.S. 60, U.S. 70, U.S. 80 and U.S. 89 were recently installed by the city of Mesa Transportation Department, according to a press release.
The signs were placed in the following locations along Main Street:
•Eastbound between the west city limit and Dobson Road (between May and San Jose)
•Eastbound west of Country Club Drive (between Vineyard and Country Club)
•Westbound east of Mesa Drive (between Edgemont and Hobson)
•Westbound west of Lindsay Road (between Lindsay and Lyn Rae)
•Westbound west of Recker Road (between Recker and 58th Street)
•Westbound west of Sossaman (between Sossaman and 74th Street)
Transcontinental historic highways 60, 70, 80 and 89 merged on Main Street in the 1920s and 1930s.
U.S. 60 was a 2,670-mile highway that began in 1926 and once stretched from Newport News, Virginia, to Los Angeles. The highway was decommissioned in 1972 but 369 miles remain in Arizona. The Superstition Freeway is now part of the U.S. 60 highway.
U.S. 70 was a 2,385-mile highway that began in 1926 and once stretched from Atlantic, North Carolina, to Los Angeles. The highway was decommissioned in 1964 with I-10 replacing some of it in Arizona. However, there are still many remaining sections across the U.S. as far west as Globe, Arizona.
U.S. 80 began in 1925 and once stretched from Tybee Island, Georgia to San Diego. U.S. 80 was decommissioned in 1989 and the remaining sections in Arizona were renumbered to Arizona 80.
U.S. 89 began in 1926 in Nogales, Arizona, and went north to the Canadian border at Piegan, Montana. Much of the original U.S. 89, approximately 1,600 miles, still exists today.
The Mesa Preservation Foundation worked to obtain funding for the historic signs. They were designed by former Mesa Historic Preservation Board Member Donna Benge and manufactured by Rockart Signs and Markers of Mesa.
The Mesa Independent is available in Mesa and Maricopa County