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Southern Avenue interchange progressing, closure to be lifted next month

Closure has accelerated South Mountain Freeway construction
February 14, 2018

southernPHOENIX – After moving more than 450,000 cubic yards of earth, enough to fill up 150 Olympic-size swimming pools, construction on the Southern Avenue traffic interchange for the South Mountain Freeway remains on track to reopen Southern next month between 61st Avenue and 64th Place in Laveen.

The closure of Southern Avenue that began Nov. 27 has allowed crews to safely move this large amount of dirt without having to cross local traffic and has accelerated construction of the southern half of the interchange as the Arizona Department of Transportation moves even closer to opening the 22-mile freeway by late 2019.

southern_1This work has required motorists to temporarily detour between 51st and 67th avenues, with Broadway and Baseline roads as options, until this first phase of construction is complete.

In addition to the extensive earthwork, crews have completed substantial work that isn’t visible as it occurred below grade, including installing underground utilities and drainage structures. Above ground, crews have built bridge columns and retaining walls that will support a 125-foot-long bridge and have removed the existing roadway.

Today, crews started work to pave the eastbound lanes that motorists in both directions will share until the westbound lanes are built at a later date.

southern_3When the northern half of the interchange is complete, the westbound lanes will be paved to complete the widening of Southern Avenue (one lane in each direction along with dedicated left- and right-turn lanes).  A full closure of Southern Avenue won’t be necessary for this phase of work, though occasional overnight closures will be needed to place bridge girders and pour the bridge deck.

After the Southern Avenue closure is lifted, additional work will include paving the ramps and mainline freeway, installing signage, constructing retaining walls, finishing construction of the Southern Avenue bridge, completing final striping and adding landscaping.

soutghern_4The 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

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Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.