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Estrella Drive interchange completed for South Mountain Freeway

Extended closure allowed crews to accelerate construction in Laveen
November 01, 2018

PHOENIX – Following a six-month closure, Estrella Drive reopened today to traffic west of 51st Avenue in Laveen with construction complete on an interchange for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.
SMF and Estrella Dr - Aerial View Photo

The closure allowed crews to accelerate construction of the South Mountain Freeway interchange, including building a 100-foot-long bridge over Estrella Drive. In all, crews will build 40 bridges, including 13 interchanges, along the 22-mile-long freeway corridor.

Since mid-May, crews have:

  • Moved more than 160,000 cubic yards of earthwork to create bridge approaches and ramps
  • Installed underground utilities and drainage structures
  • Constructed two roundabouts at the interchange
  • Applied aesthetic treatments that feature the “River Bank” pattern honoring the area’s agricultural heritage
  • Placed foundations for traffic signals and lighting

Additional work is planned to pave the entrance and exit ramps and mainline freeway and add signage, lighting, final striping, signals and landscaping.

Unique to the Estrella Drive interchange is an innovative modern roundabout design that minimizes its footprint while moving traffic efficiently and safely. Based on projected traffic volumes and the freeway’s alignment through the area, ADOT determined roundabouts to be a better option than a conventional diamond interchange. The roundabouts will open to traffic when the freeway opens, as early as late 2019.
SMF Estrella Dr Overpass

Just north of Estrella Drive, Dobbins Road between west of 59th Avenue and 75th Avenue in Laveen remains closed as work began this week on the construction of an interchange there. That closure will remain through April 2019.

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

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