By Angela DeWelles / ADOT Communications
Apache Trail, also known as State Route 88,
was built in 1903 to serve as an access road for
construction of Theodore Roosevelt Dam.
But it’s so much more than that. SR 88 is a
part of Arizona’s history and today offers motorists a
scenic way to get to Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt lakes.
Right now, a project is underway to rehabilitate pavement and make other safety
improvements along a 17-mile stretch from near
Apache Junction to an area east of Tortilla Flat within the
Tonto National Forest (mileposts 203 to 220).
This post has images showing the latest work, and the slideshow below has many others.
Most construction will occur during daylight hours, Mondays through Thursdays, and no weekend or holiday construction is anticipated. One lane of traffic will remain open during paving with flaggers directing motorists through the work zone.
Please allow extra travel time while these improvements continue through late summer.
Here are some fast facts about the project, including
details on what steps ADOT employees must take
when working on
such a historically
1) Before work on
project could begin,
crews completed an emergency repair project on a
stretch of SR 88 between mileposts 201 and 214. “We did
emergency work on the flood-damaged
road from August to November 2017,” said
Roger Vial, ADOT transportation engineering specialist. The governor issued a declaration of
emergency, and we repaired 24 areas before
we could even start on the main project.”
2) The improvement project includes work to flatten out
roadway curves at six locations. Other safety improvements include
paving selected pullouts, updating signage and pavement
markings, removing rocks to limit rock fall onto the
roadway and removing and replacing guardrail.
3) The project will also repair the concrete ford across
Tortilla Creek near Tortilla Flat. “The ford is a one-lane
bridge; water runs beneath it,” said Vial, explaining that
the work requires a temporary water management plan
to protect the Gila topminnow fish and lowland leopard
frogs that call the creek home.
4) Because SR 88 is a historic road, ADOT had
to negotiate and implement an agreement
that “spells out how we’re going to mitigate
any adverse effects. We consulted with
the Tonto National Forest, tribes and the State Historic
Preservation Office,” explained ADOT Cultural Resource
Program Manager Ruth Greenspan. When working on
any historic road, ADOT has a process in place that allows
most projects to continue without any issue, Greenspan
said. “For the projects where there’s going to be some
changes made that may affect the historic integrity of the
road, we’ll outline a treatment plan that typically includes
documentation and historic research.”
For more on the improvement work, check out the project page
. Details on the highway’s history can also be found
on the ADOT website