Here’s why the metro Phoenix freeway system was mentioned on ‘Jeopardy!’

Aug 15, 2023, 12:15 PM | Updated: 1:35 pm

(Flickr Photo
/Adam Fagen)...

(Flickr Photo /Adam Fagen)

PHOENIX — Phoenicians far and wide were probably screaming at their televisions when a certain prompt was brought up on a recent episode of “Jeopardy!”

The $600 clue in the “road” category asked the three contestants which freeway was a part of “The Stack” interchange with Interstate 17 a few miles west of downtown Phoenix.

The answer, as many Valley dwellers know, was Interstate 10. The contestants weren’t as sharp.

One guessed Route 66, which has never run through metro Phoenix. The other two were stumped and didn’t provide an answer.

What’s the history of “The Stack?”

Here’s a brief history of the $600 answer for the game show contestants and others who aren’t familiar.

The four-level, symmetrical interchange that connects the two freeways near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road has been around since 1990.

It was the second interchange constructed in the Valley. The first one, which connected I-17 and U.S. 60, was completed in 1957.

What are the other nicknames on Valley freeways?

“The Stack” isn’t the only special name on the metro Phoenix freeway system.

Here are the other names, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Mini-Stack – The four-level interchange linking I-10 to State Route 51 and Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway is located south of McDowell Road and east of 16th Street.

North Stack – Another four-level interchange, this one is located at I-17 and Loop 101, north of Bell Road.

Split – The interchange where I-10 splits or merges – depending on your direction of travel – with I-17 near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Westbound I-10 splits into lanes that allow drivers to head north on I-17 or continue west on I-10.

SuperRedTan – A multi-tiered interchange in east Mesa where U.S. 60, the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway and the Loop 202 Santan Freeway meet. SuperRedTan is formed by taking part of each freeway’s name – Superstition, Red Mountain and Santan.

Broadway Curve – Southeast of the Split, this rush-hour-challenged section I-10 is near Broadway Road and State Route 143 by the Phoenix-Tempe border.

Durango Curve – The curved section of I-17 near Durango Street is located southwest of downtown Phoenix.

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Here’s why the metro Phoenix freeway system was mentioned on ‘Jeopardy!’