A butterfly’s view of Mariposa Road

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

Mariposa, as Spanish speakers in Santa Cruz County and beyond can tell you, means butterfly. Nogales residents will be seeing more monarchs this fall as the butterflies migrate through the area on the way to the mountains of central Mexico.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is celebrating monarch butterflies in a project now underway on Mariposa Road, also known as State Route 189. Piers supporting new ramps connecting SR 189 with Interstate 19 will feature three-dimensional monarch butterflies.

The improvements to Mariposa Road will bring important benefits to Nogales and southern Arizona. International trucks bringing produce and other products into Arizona will enter the ramps before they reach Frank Reed Road. That will allow them to avoid three traffic signals while entering I-19, saving the trucking companies time and money – and attracting more international commerce to cross the border in Nogales, boosting the local and state economies.

It also will bring improved safety on one of Nogales’ most-important roads. Removing about 360,000 commercial trucks a year from SR 189 will mean a safer ride to school for Nogales High School students and easier shopping trips to Mariposa Shopping Center and the other businesses east of I-19.

The best way to see the progress we’ve made this summer is from above, from a butterfly’s perspective. You can see that in the short video to the right, shot by a drone in August. You can also browse through the Flickr slideshow below. So take a moment to see what we’ve accomplished so far. We’ll be back when we’re closer to completion to give you another look at this important project.

SR 189 and I-19 (080420)

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