The Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway is a 22-mile-long roadway that will bypass the city’s downtown and provide a critical direct link between the West Valley and East Valley along Interstate 10, significantly improving regional mobility and reducing gridlock on the highway system.
“This is a freeway that currently does not exist, but is needed,” said Doug LaMont, project manager. “The new South Mountain Freeway will provide a major east-west connection, as well as a new system-to-system interchange that will be constructed along I-10 at 59th Avenue.”
WSP USA serves as the lead design firm, as part of Connect 202 Partners, a public-private partnership (P3) of Fluor Enterprises, Granite Construction and Ames Construction. Connect 202 Partners is working on behalf of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). It is Arizona’s largest ever highway project and the state’s first highway P3 project. The project was awarded to Connect 202 Partners in December 2015.
The new highway will connect to a segment of Interstate 10 known as the Papago Freeway, with an interchange at 59th Avenue to the west of Phoenix. The highway will travel southeast through Laveen Village, South Mountain Park and Ahwatukee Foothills Village, eventually connecting to Interstate 10 at the Route 202 intersection.
The $916 million project includes 4.5 miles of improvements to the I-10 Papago Freeway, 42 bridges, 13 service traffic interchanges, one system traffic interchange, 11 miles of noise walls, and six miles of a shared-use path. The system interchange and the addition of a one-way access roads parallel to the freeway are designed to improve operations along the I-10 corridor.
Three of the four project design segments were completed in August, with the fourth segment targeting completion by the spring of 2018. Construction started in fall 2016 and the new highway is expected to be opened to motorists by late 2019.