From the Archives: Black Canyon Highway at Thomas

Black Canyon Highway and Thomas Road in 1960

Black Canyon Highway and Thomas Road in 1960

By Caroline Carpenter / ADOT Communications

In 57 years, downtown Phoenix and the metro freeway system have expanded greatly. This photo of the Black Canyon Highway and Thomas Road snapped on May 25, 1960, shows just how much has changed. Most Phoenicians know the Black Canyon Highway as Interstate 17. However in 1960, the roadway was still a highway and had not yet been built to interstate standards. Today, I-17 at Thomas Road is four lanes in each direction, and you'd be hard pressed to take a photo there with only four vehicles in it.

It’s safe to say things have changed since 1912 when the Arizona Highway Department was first established. But you don’t just have to take our word … we’ve got plenty of pictures to prove it. We combed through our archives and decided to periodically post these photos from the past in a blog series we’re calling, “From the ADOT Archives.”