Carefree Highway

Project Overview

The city of Scottsdale is in the early stages of design for improvements to Carefree Highway, from Cave Creek Road to Scottsdale (Tom Darlington) Road, to improve the capacity and operational efficiency of the roadway.

This project will ultimately expand Carefree Highway from two to four lanes (two lanes in each direction) with a center landscaped raised median island and will include bike lanes, shared-use path/trail, and curb and gutter. Drainage improvements and utility work will also take place as part of the project.

Safety improvements will be made at approximately ten intersections along the project corridor. Based on traffic analysis, modifications are needed such as signals or new turn bays at most of the intersections.

The Carefree Highway Corridor serves north central Maricopa County and Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, and Carefree. Carefree Highway west of Cave Creek Road is a four-lane roadway with a raised median and turn lanes at major intersections, but east of Cave Creek Road, the roadway transitions to a two-lane roadway until its ending at Scottsdale Road.

This project will improve Carefree Highway to this planned design which will improve travel time and reduce congestion.

Carefree Highway Project Limits

Public Outreach


The following presentation is a project overview and was given at a public meeting on Feb. 12, 2024.

Carefree Highway Public Meeting PowerPoint

To view the preliminary plans please review the following segments:

Project History

Carefree Highway is classified as a future Minor Arterial by the City of Scottsdale in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan. This defines the roadway as a four-lane road with raised medians.

Also, in 2004 Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) identified the need to widen Carefree Highway between Cave Creek Road and Scottsdale Road to four lanes and programmed for construction in Phase III (FY2016 through FY2020).

The Carefree Highway is also designated as an Urban Road of Regional Significance. These roads are identified as facilities having higher design standards and higher speeds that will help ensure regional mobility.

Finally, the Carefree Highway serves as a Scenic corridor for many decades in Scottsdale, which acknowledges the need to minimize or avoid adverse impacts and preserve the corridor's environment.

Public Comment

Project Information

Budget: $11.4 million

Sponsoring Division: Transportation

Funding Source: Regional Sales Tax - Arterial Life Cycle Program and 2019 Transportation 0.1% Sales Tax

Project Location: Carefree Highway from Cave Creek Road to Scottsdale Road

24 Hour Project Hotline


Contact Information

Mark Dorsey
Project Manager
P: 480-312-7869
[email protected]
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