Wayback Wednesday: Mystery men of 1990s era ADOT

By David Woodfill / ADOT Communications

Workers amble around future Red Mountain Freeway construction site.Here's an old photo we found showing what we believe are workers at the construction site of the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway, then known as the East Papago Freeway.

If we're correct, that would date this photo to the mid-'90s. The concrete cylinders in the background are drainage culverts that presumably will be placed into the ditch that the workers are standing over.

It's difficult to ascertain what these mystery men of ADOT were doing in the photo, but we have a few guesses:

  • The guy in the front just stepped in "something" and the others are coming to help him scrape it off his shoe.
  • They are taking turns re-enacting Neil Armstrong's first steps onto the lunar surface.
  • They all showed up late to their shift and their supervisor is making them walk the plank.

Whatever the situation, it's an interesting slice of Arizona history. Nowadays, the Valley is ringed with an extensive highway system that loops the Valley -- Loops 101, 202 and 303. The most recent addition was the South Mountain portion of the Loop 202, which was completed ahead of schedule in December 2019.

There's no telling where these gentlemen are today, but it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on how far our highway system has evolved over the decades.

Thank you for your service, mystery men of ADOT.