SR 64

State Route 67 reopens May 15 to Grand Canyon North Rim

State Route 67 reopens May 15 to Grand Canyon North Rim

I-17 101 traffic interchange

State Route 67 reopens May 15 to Grand Canyon North Rim

State Route 67 reopens May 15 to Grand Canyon North Rim

May 8, 2018

PHOENIX – State Route 67 from US 89A at Jacob Lake to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, May 15.

After the park’s North Rim facilities close each winter, the Arizona Department of Transportation doesn’t plow the 43-mile highway. It reopens each spring along with park facilities.

State Route 64 is open year-round to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The winding SR 67 takes motorists through alpine terrain above 8,000 feet elevation to the North Rim, which averages about 9 feet of snow annually. The highway has been closed for winter since Dec. 1.

Cameron Approach Road opened eastern gateway to Grand Canyon

Cameron Approach Road opened eastern gateway to Grand Canyon


Cameron Approach Road opened eastern gateway to Grand Canyon

Cameron Approach Road opened eastern gateway to Grand Canyon

February 15, 2018

Cameron Road Bridge

By Peter Corbett / ADOT Communications

Traveling today’s modern highways to the Grand Canyon, it’s hard to imagine the challenges motorists and road builders faced in the early days of the national park.

While the national park will celebrate its centennial next year, a paved road from Williams to the South Rim – State Route 64 – wasn’t completed until 1933. It is one of the state’s historic roads.

The highway east from Cameron to the Canyon was paved in 1936 after years of lobbying, creative financing and construction over difficult terrain from the Painted Desert to the pinyon and pine forest of the South Rim. Known as the Cameron Approach Road, it generally followed the Navahopi Trail used by Navajos and Hopis long before the national park existed.

Much of that 1930s route and a key highway bridge were abandoned after several decades when SR 64 was realigned. The new alignment still connects Cameron to the Canyon, and the old bridge is plainly visible from the new route.

Building that segment of SR 64 and a key highway bridge was an important chapter of Arizona highway history that opened Grand Canyon to increased tourism by automobile.

“In a local and regional sense, the road is perfectly illustrative of Grand Canyon’s 1925-39 golden age of road building wherein the National Park Service and Superintendent Minor Tillotson transformed the park’s transportation system from rutted wagon roads to modern automotive highways,” Michael Anderson wrote in a report for the Historic American Engineering Record, an organization that documents historic sites and engineering feats.

This account is based on Anderson’s 1994 report.

Tillotson, Grand Canyon engineer from 1923-27 and superintendent until 1939, blazed the way for the eastern route to the national park. The Cameron road would ultimately link the South Rim to the North Rim via US 89 and Navajo Bridge, built by the Arizona Highway Department in 1929. It also advanced the Park Service’s goal of connecting its parks in Arizona to those in southern Utah.

In the late 1920s, the Fred Harvey Co., which provided tourist services at Grand Canyon, maintained a primitive road from the Canyon to Cameron. It followed a stage coach trail and the Navahopi route. Company buses took visitors to Cameron and Tuba City trading posts.

Tillotson argued for a new road and obtained funding for it in the early days of the Great Depression. In December 1929, the Arizona Highway Department, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service each agreed to pay $5,000 to survey a new eastern route to the Canyon.

Later, land acquisition was temporarily sidetracked when the National Park Service director balked at paying $30 to two Navajo allottees for 16 acres of right of way.

Ultimately, it took nine projects totaling $1.06 million to build a 31-mile road from Cameron to the Canyon. That’s the equivalent of about $20 million today. One key project was a 300-foot bridge built at a cost of $45,000.

While work progressed on road-building, Phoenix contractor Vinson & Pringle started construction of the bridge Oct. 1, 1933. A 12-man crew was later increased to 23. The historic engineering report outlined some of the details of the 8-month bridge project:

  • Daily pay was $4 for laborers, $5 for truck drivers, $8 for stone cutters and $10 for stone masons.
  • Vinson & Pringle had a lot of job turnover for painters who were frightened by the heights of painting the bridge structure. Most were out-of-work house painters who were unaccustomed to working high above the ground.
  • A landscape architect insisted on sandstone veneer for the bridge’s wing walls and abutments instead of concrete. The attractive stone walls matched those at Desert View.

The bridge was completed June 9, 1934. It carried SR 64 traffic for decades before the road was realigned. The bridge still spans a canyon 150 feet above the new alignment of SR 64. Barricades block the old road and the bridge.

The 7,100-foot Gray Mountains rise high above the bridge. The scenic Little Colorado River gorge is less than a mile north of the current alignment of SR 64.

Work wraps up on SR 64 improvement project

Work wraps up on SR 64 improvement project


Work wraps up on SR 64 improvement project

Work wraps up on SR 64 improvement project

September 11, 2012

Construction had only recently started back when we first checked in on the SR 64 highway improvement project

That was about a year ago. Since then, well, just take a look at the video above and see for yourself how much this project has transformed the area’s landscape!

Work is now complete and the town of Tusayan (pop. 560) has a wider roadway, two new roundabouts, new bus pull-outs, enhanced landscaping, and several new crosswalks.

The upgrades were necessary because this small town happens to sit along the route leading to the popular south entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park. That means that Tusayan sees a lot of traffic (pedestrian and vehicle), so the lack of crosswalks and traffic signals had caused some concern.

The improvements are a welcome sight, according to Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan. He says now people have a place to properly cross the street.

“The safety factor coming through Tusayan has been vastly improved,” Bryan said.

Winter weather suspends northern projects for the season

Winter weather suspends northern projects for the season


Winter weather suspends northern projects for the season

Winter weather suspends northern projects for the season

December 7, 2011

Snowy conditions from up north earlier this year.

The official start of winter is approaching, but the cold weather is already here!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve told you how ADOT prepares for the snowy conditions common this time of year in Arizona’s high country.

Getting the snowplows ready, along with plenty of deicer ready, along with closing down certain low-traffic/heavy snow routes are vital steps, but there’s an additional action ADOT takes each year as the temperatures start to dip …

Every winter ADOT has to suspend work on projects in the state’s high country. This is necessary because it is too cold to pour concrete or place asphalt pavement (rubberized asphalt is especially sensitive to temperature variations).

But that doesn’t mean our crews just drop what they’re doing!

Work is stopped at a logical point and the work zone is generally left in a condition that doesn’t impede traffic. Drivers may notice some barricades and should be aware as they’re driving through project sites.

And as for the actual crews…ADOT workers who manage or inspect the projects either switch gears to next-year’s planning or are reassigned to maintenance for the season.

Here’s a list of projects that have either already been suspended for the winter, or will be stopped in the next week or so:

  • SR 64 roadway and streetscape improvements in Tusayan
  • I-17 Munds Park traffic interchange
  • US 93 repaving north of Kingman (top layer of rubberized asphalt will be finished in the spring)
  • US 93 repaving south of Wikieup
  • SR 260 passing lanes between Overgaard and Show Low
  • US 60 repaving between Springerville and the New Mexico state line
  • I-40 repaving through Holbrook
  • SR 87 repaving north of I-40
Work on other projects, such as the widening of SR 260, 20 miles east of Payson, continues because the current stage involves blasting and excavating, which can be done in cold weather.


For tools, maps and other information designed to assist you this season, check out ADOT’s Know Snow Web page. You also can stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions by visiting the ADOT Traveler Information Center, or by calling 511.

Popular route to Grand Canyon slated for improvement

Popular route to Grand Canyon slated for improvement


Popular route to Grand Canyon slated for improvement

Popular route to Grand Canyon slated for improvement

October 20, 2011

According to estimates, nearly 2.5 million vehicles pass through the very small town of Tusayan, Arizona each year…

So, where’s everybody going?

They're typically headed to one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations -- the Grand Canyon.

One of the main routes to the popular south entrance happens to be State Route 64, which takes motorists right through the middle of Tusayan (pop. 560).

The small town gets a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic and understandably there have been some concern related to all the activity on SR 64.

The roadway consists of four lanes and has one two-way left-turn lane. Hotels, restaurants and shops line the highway, which has no crosswalks or traffic signals. Pedestrians sometimes cross the highway at random locations, which has raised some of the concern.

After Tusayan officials asked ADOT to study the highway, it was concluded that making design changes would enhance the safety and appearance of the roadway.

ADOT is investing $4.1 million to widen the roadway in order to install a raised median, which will allow pedestrians to cross the street more safely.

In addition, two roundabout intersections will be constructed at the beginning and end of town and bus bays will be added.

The roadway improvements, aesthetic enhancements and new lighting are designed to create a more welcoming entrance to the community and encourage more people to stop and enjoy the community and the services it has to offer.

Town Manager Enrique Medina Ochoa believes the project could help his town.

“Studies that they’ve done have shown that the majority of the people going to the Grand Canyon will spend maybe 4.1-4.5 hours. Then they come out and maybe they’ll have lunch or breakfast or dinner there in Tusayan and see a few things,” he says in the video above. “We’re trying to change it so that people will be able to stay and I think the ADOT project, the enhancement beautification and safety project will really help.”

Construction began in July and the project is expected to wrap up by next summer.