South Mountain Freeway shared-use path is taking shape

By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

L-202 walking path As your friend drives on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in Ahwatukee – eyes on the road, drivers – sneak a peek off the south side of the road. What you see might at first look like a ribbon of dirt in the desert. But take a closer look and you’ll recognize what’s going on.

The shared-use path planned along the new freeway is taking shape.

The path, most of it on the former Pecos Road alignment, has been cleared and manicured. It will run 6 miles, from 40th Street on the east to 17th Avenue on the west, following the contour of the desert.

This spring, we expect to open a little more than half of the distance, from 17th Avenue to 24th Street. The remaining section, from 24th Street to 40th Street, will open this summer at the same time as the 32nd Street interchange. Construction on both the path and the 32nd Street interchange began shortly after the South Mountain Freeway opened Dec. 21.

The path is designed for use by walkers, bicycle riders and others. You can access the path at any interchange – 40th, 32nd or 24th Street, Desert Foothills Parkway and 17th Avenue – by following signs and crosswalks.

Although traffic has been using the South Mountain Freeway for two months now, we’re still putting the finishing touches in place. We’re completing landscaping, waiting for warmer temperatures to do some final paving and taking care of a few other things. We expect to have everything complete by this fall.