South Mountain Freeway remains on track with latest court ruling

Direct link between East Valley and West Valley scheduled to open in 2019

South Mountain Freeway Project Map showing I-10, Salt River, Center, and Pecos SegmentsPHOENIX – Work on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway remains on track with the U.S. District Court in Phoenix denying a third bid by opponents to halt construction.

An order released Wednesday, Oct. 26, denied the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction, saying, in part, that they are unlikely to prevail on appeal.

“I believe that the completed South Mountain Freeway will provide a great overall economic benefit to the growing Maricopa County region, and relief to users of the system, particularly where Interstate 10 passes through downtown Phoenix,” Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski said. “We are moving forward with a project supported by Maricopa County voters and our partners – the city of Phoenix and the Maricopa Association of Governments – that will make the Phoenix metro area a better place to live and do business.”

In August, the court granted the Federal Highway Administration’s and ADOT’s motions for summary judgment, concluding that the agencies complied with federal law in moving forward with the project. In July 2015, the court rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have halted all work leading up to the start of construction.

Opponents have appealed the August ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 22-mile freeway, expected to open by late 2019, will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to Interstate 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.

Construction of the South Mountain Freeway began in September with improvements to the I-10/Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) interchange. Work includes extending Loop 202 HOV lanes and widening the shoulders to Pecos Road near 48th Street. Also underway is plant salvage work along the Pecos Road segment.

Construction of the mainline freeway is scheduled to begin in early 2017.

For more information, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com.