Disadvantaged business enterprises helping build South Mountain Freeway

Minority- and women-owned firms awarded contracts worth $109 million

PHOENIX – The team building the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, Arizona’s largest single highway project ever, has awarded more than $100 million in contracts to local small businesses run by socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including minorities and women.

Endo Steel Tying Rebar

The $109 million already exceeds the Arizona Department of Transportation’s goal for Connect 202 Partners, the developer building the 22-mile freeway, to award $108 million in construction and professional services contracts to disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) firms.

It’s the most awarded for any ADOT project since the agency launched its Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Program in the 1980s to help qualifying small businesses compete for transportation contracts.

There are nearly 1,200 certified businesses in Arizona. The companies must be owned by individuals from socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including women and minorities.

“This program helps level the playing field for disadvantaged business enterprises in Arizona,” said Rob Samour, ADOT’s senior deputy state engineer for major projects. “And thanks to the efforts of Connect 202 Partners and these small businesses, we’ll be able to deliver the South Mountain Freeway by late 2019 and provide much-needed traffic relief for Valley motorists.”

To date, 90 construction contracts totaling $84 million have been finalized with 71 disadvantaged business enterprises, all but two of them owned by Arizonans.  These contracts cover many essential tasks involved in building a freeway, including landscaping, rebar, painting, drainage, concrete and masonry.

Endo Steel Tying Rebar caisson

An additional $25 million has been awarded to disadvantaged business enterprises for work in design, quality control, public information and other professional services.

In 2016, ADOT finalized the state’s first highway public-private partnership agreement with Connect 202 Partners, consisting of Fluor Enterprises Inc., Granite Construction Co. and Ames Construction Inc., with Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. as the lead designer, for $916 million to design and build the South Mountain Freeway.

Major construction started in 2017.

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 Valley.

For more information on the South Mountain Freeway, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com. To learn about ADOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Program, visit azdot.gov/DBE.