I-17 101 traffic interchange

I-10 Deck Park Tunnel in Phoenix dedicated to late ADOT engineer

I-10 Deck Park Tunnel in Phoenix dedicated to late ADOT engineer

May 7, 2024

Dean Lindsey managed implementation of I-10’s ‘Final Mile’ in the 1980s

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation is honoring a late civil engineer tasked with managing the development of the Interstate 10 Deck Park Tunnel and final segments of the Papago Freeway north of downtown Phoenix.

On Tuesday, May 7, ADOT Director Jennifer Toth, former ADOT Director and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and others dedicated the I-10 tunnel in Dean Lindsey’s name with signs outside each tunnel entrance and a plaque in Margaret T. Hance Park. Lindsey guided development of the interstate’s downtown-area segments, including the tunnel, in the 1970s and ’80s. The Deck Park Tunnel, which was part of the “Final Mile” of I-10 across the country, opened to traffic in August 1990. 

ADOT officials, former colleagues and others joined Lindsey’s family in the park, located above the tunnel through which well over 250,000 vehicles pass daily, to unveil a plaque reading “Dean Lindsey I-10 Memorial Tunnel.” The work included close collaboration with the city of Phoenix and the community on the complex development of the tunnel and the city’s Margaret T. Hance Park. 

“Dean Lindsey had a reputation for bringing people together during the design work that allowed I-10 and Hance Park to become realities in the downtown Phoenix area more than 30 years ago,” Director Toth said. “He was a key architect of the early Valley freeway program, and I’m sure he’d want to share this dedication with those who worked beside him.”

That sentiment was shared by a one-time colleague, retired ADOT Chief Deputy State Engineer Bob Mickelson. 

“You can’t overstate the work that Dean put into the Papago Freeway,” Mickelson said. “There were times he was working seven days a week. He was wonderful with people, which was important at a time when planning that section of I-10 was politically charged. He was the right man to lead the planning and design processes for the tunnel project, the I-17 Stack interchange and the I-10 connections with State Route 51.” 

Lindsey began working for ADOT in 1974. He also spent time working in the consultant engineering sector. His daughter Laura Felten summed up her father’s legacy this way:

“Dad loved his work at ADOT and looked back on it with pride. He had many stories about the accomplishments, the camaraderie with coworkers and the problem solving required to deliver projects. Whenever our family drives through the Deck Park Tunnel, we call it ‘PaPa’s Tunnel.’ We are so honored that it now bears his name.” 

Lindsey retired from ADOT in 2006 and passed away in 2023. He was honored with an Arizona Transportation Legacy Award in 2014 during the 63rd Conference on Roads and Streets held in Tucson. The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names is the official state body that approved naming the tunnel in Dean Lindsey’s honor.