PHOENIX – After several months of environmental study and reevaluation, the Arizona Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to add an interchange at 32nd Street for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. Previous plans had the freeway passing over 32nd Street with no direct access.
Construction of the connecting ramps will occur at a later date following the opening of the South Mountain Freeway. The additional work won’t delay the opening of the South Mountain Freeway, which is set for as early as late 2019.
ADOT, in a partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the Maricopa Association of Governments, the regional planning agency, re-initiated an environmental study in spring 2018 after receiving several requests from the public and elected officials since construction started on the South Mountain Freeway in fall 2016.
In May, ADOT hosted a public meeting to collect feedback on the proposed interchange. More than 1,700 comments were received during the study phase. The reevaluation of this interchange, including a record of public comments, is available online at www.azdot.gov/32ndStreetStudy.
At the outset of the environmental study phase of the South Mountain Freeway project in 2001, traffic interchanges were considered at all major arterial crossings, including 32nd Street. At the recommendation of a Citizen Advisory Team and city of Phoenix, the 32nd Street interchange was removed in 2005.
Adding the ramps is projected to cost approximately $10 million. The funding would be available either from right-of-way savings achieved through the public-private partnership finalized in February 2016 with Connect 202 Partners, the builder of the South Mountain Freeway, or through funding allocated by the Maricopa Association of Governments. The developer was tasked with developing innovative approaches for construction and engineering, including reducing the amount of property that must be acquired for the freeway.
The 22-mile South Mountain Freeway 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.
For more information, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com.