I-17 101 traffic interchange

First South Mountain Freeway bridge opens to traffic

First South Mountain Freeway bridge opens to traffic

April 2, 2018

PHOENIX – Drivers in Laveen are now using the first bridge completed for the South Mountain Freeway, marking a milestone for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway project.

Following a five-month closure of the Elliot Road and 59th Avenue intersection, crews have completed a bridge that allows Elliot Road traffic to safely travel over the South Mountain Freeway mainline, which will open to traffic by late 2019.

The extended closure, which required motorists to detour to Dobbins Road between 59th and 75th avenues, allowed crews to accelerate construction on one of the 13 interchanges for the South Mountain Freeway. It is also one of 40 bridges planned for the 22-mile-long freeway corridor.

Since late October, crews have constructed more than 2,000 feet of roadway improvements, including:

  • Installing underground utilities and drainage structures, including several 4-foot-wide storm drain crossings
  • Building retaining walls, called mechanically stabilized earth walls
  • Moving more than 300,000 cubic yards of earthwork to create bridge approaches and ramps
  • Constructing a 272-foot, two-span bridge

Additional work needed to complete the interchange will include paving the ramps and mainline freeway, signage, lighting, final striping, signals and landscaping.

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.