Arizona Roads - 44th St./old AZ 153
44th St., Phoenix - Former AZ 153
University Dr. EB and WB at the beginning of 44th St. and the former beginning of AZ 153 (which never connected to another route). It died thanks to modern AZ 143 next to it, which actually does connect to other roads and thus provides a better ride to and from the airport. The old AZ 153 shields were patched curiously precisely, as if a square or rectangle just wouldn't do the job.
The former Sky Harbor Expressway had a stub at University Dr., and was intended to continue toward the I-10 interchange with 40th St. Once Phoenix took over in 2007 (barely 10 years after the freeway opened), they cannibalized the former SB lanes and shoved everyone into the EB lanes. It looks like there had been three lanes with full shoulders each way, and two without shoulders and a curbed median is certainly sufficient. In the last photo, you see how the freeway would have looked when it was still a state highway. Use you imagination to undo the current stripes and repaint the remaining scars.
NB (first two) and SB, the only button copy left on old AZ 153.
Looking back south at the current and former SB roadways. The old median barrier is now a side barrier.
Construction of the Phoenix Sky Train has taken over the SB lanes from the airport north. AZ 153 was a freeway, but 44th St. is definitely not, and to prove it, a signal was added at the turnoff for airport employee access to the Sky Train yard. It's possible other uses, perhaps accessible to the public, will make their way over here as well.
Construction in what I believe will be the Sky Train maintenance yard. Normally I'd hate on a train taking away lanes (and button copy signs, I'm sure) from a former freeway, but this train soars 100 feet over an active runway. Can't hate that. Need to fly into Sky Harbor to see that.
44th St. SB on what was never AZ 153, since that route ended at Washington St. I'm sure it was meant for extension to Loop 202, but that fared as well as extension to I-10. Although it is much faster to get to Phoenix and Tempe by turning for AZ 143, the only airport access from the north is still via 44th St.
To AZ 143
Onto Sky Harbor Blvd.
Back to Arizona Roads
Back to Roads