Nearly two years after major construction began on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, construction on the state’s largest single highway project is entering the new year with nearly two-thirds of the work complete.
Progress is evident throughout the 22-mile corridor as crews put down asphalt pavement, complete bridges, build artistic sound walls and install message boards above the future travel lanes. While the design and construction schedule is on target for a late 2019 opening, crews have installed 20 miles of drainage pipe, laid 107,000 tons of asphalt pavement, moved 9.9 million cubic yards of dirt and used 10,800 tons of steel rebar for bridges, walls and other structures.
In 2019, construction will ramp up as the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Connect 202 Partners, the developer responsible for the design and construction of the South Mountain Freeway, work to complete the freeway, which is slated to open as early as late 2019.
Some highlights for the final year of construction include paving the entire eight-lane freeway; completing 40 bridges throughout the corridor, including two half-mile-long spans over the Salt River; constructing two flyover HOV ramps in the I-10 median for the I-10/Loop 202 interchange; shifting Pecos Road traffic onto portions of the freeway mainline through Ahwatukee; moving 59th Avenue traffic onto newly constructed Loop 202 frontage roads between the I-10 Papago Freeway and Lower Buckeye Road; completing construction of Arizona’s first two diverging diamond interchanges at Desert Foothills Parkway and 17th Avenue; and building five multi-use underpasses in the Center segment (51st Avenue to 32nd Lane) providing people and wildlife access to and from South Mountain Park.
The South Mountain Freeway will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to I-10 through downtown Phoenix. Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Phoenix area.
Source: Arizona DOT