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Photo TR: Party on the Freeway

dj snow

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This coming Monday, June 12, a 12-mile-long section of the San Tan Freeway will open to traffic here in the greater Phoenix metro area. It completes a connection between US 60 and I-10, so it will serve as a fairly popular corridor.


A tradition here (I'm not sure if it happens anywhere else) is to have festivals on newly completed sections of highway, before they open to traffic. Wednesday, June 7, was the day for this festival, dubbed "Sundown on the San Tan."


And now, enjoy some photos from this unusual event.


Finally, the evening ended with fireworks. And in just a few days, these lanes will be full of briskly-moving traffic!


Where's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog when you need him?


This stage setup (and its musical entertainment) was better than the other.


There was also live "entertainment."


Moving on, we find one of several inflatable zones.


Finally, it's time for the ceremonial ribbon cutting, with yet another mascot making a cameo.


The Gov' hangs out with Highway Hawk.


Here's my favorite mascot, though. Her name is (are you ready?)... Debris Marie.


Hey, it's Gateway Gus, the nearby airport's mascot!


The governor meets some horses.


No, this isn't a horrible accident scene--Arizona Highway Patrol simply had some of their fleet on display.


Chipotle had a table to give out free chips & guac.


Free Bomb Pops from the Blue Bunny carts!


Various booths and displays were set up on the westbound lanes. Lots of people brought their bikes, skateboards, scooters and such to enjoy this rare opportunity.


Cars parked on the shoulder and the median, then it was time for their occupants to walk to the good times!


This section of the highway was open to traffic (but only at 20 MPH) so that we could get to the party.

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When they were building our "beltway", they used to have events like this when started opening sections. Most of the time they were tied into foot or bicycle races for a particular charity, but they had booths and various things to do on the freeway.

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In 1993 when they connected the Simi Valley Freeway and the Moorpark Freeway out here in Ventura County, people were allowed to line up to be the "first" to drive on the new section. I was one of them.


There was no party, but they did give out free Bott's Dots (those white ceramic dots that they glue to the roads out here). I use mine as a paperweight.


But that party on your freeway looked like it was great!



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Hmm.. I'm glad I didn't go! I would've faced the heat to hang with people in odd costumes! All we need now is the very last part of the 202 Santan (which I believe is the US60 interchange?), and then the 202 South Mountain segment, and we have a complete beltway system.


Nothing to cheer about, I know. After all, it is the wrong direction for Phoenix to be heading in, but at least ADOT is finally getting something done.



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Has anyone seen the movie "True Stories"??? I didn't know that town still existed.


Good call.



As a matter of fact, these folks were singing "People Like Us."


Okay, not really.

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