ADOT responds to filing of legal action against South Mountain Freeway

Extensive environmental, public involvement process led to final decision

PHOENIX – While the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have not yet had an opportunity to review in detail the legal action filed against the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, the agencies are confident that any legal challenges will find that the law was followed in coming to a decision to construct this long-planned freeway.

Following an extensive environmental review process that encompassed more than a decade of comprehensive analysis, with various formal and informal opportunities for the public to learn about the project and provide comment, ADOT received a Record of Decision from the Federal Highway Administration in March 2015 to proceed with the project. Throughout the process, nearly 8,000 formal comments from community members were documented, responded to and considered by the study team in coming to the decision to construct the freeway.

The South Mountain Freeway has been a critical part of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Freeway Program since it was first included in funding approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985. It was part of the Regional Transportation Plan funding passed by Maricopa County voters in 2004 through Proposition 400, and this freeway is the last piece to complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system necessary for high-quality regional mobility. The South Mountain Freeway will significantly improve travel between the southeast and southwest areas of the Valley and help reduce congestion on Interstate 10. The freeway is also expected to promote economic development in the region.

The freeway will be constructed with four lanes in each direction – three general-use lanes and one HOV lane – and modern features that have made Arizona freeways stand apart from other states for a generation, including rubberized asphalt and aesthetics designed in partnership with the community. Construction of the $1.75 billion project is expected to take about four years under an innovative public-private partnership that will have a private developer design, construct and maintain the freeway for 30 years. This public-private partnership will reduce costs to taxpayers while accelerating construction.

For more information, or to review the extensive environmental documentation, visit