I-17 101 traffic interchange

New virtual tour of South Mountain Freeway is online now

New virtual tour of South Mountain Freeway is online now

March 16, 2017

PHOENIX – As the Loop South Mountain Freeway moves toward completion in late 2019, a new flyover animation reflects updated plans for the 22-mile-long corridor.

The six-and-a-half minute virtual tour of the South Mountain Freeway, the largest single freeway project in state history, is available at SouthMountainFreeway.com.

It updates a 2013 video completed in conjunction with the publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, and before much of the final design work had been completed.

Some of the key design modifications and additions highlighted in the latest video include:

  • Aesthetic and landscaping treatments reflecting neighboring communities
  • Direct HOV lane access near 59th Avenue from the South Mountain Freeway to and from downtown Phoenix
  • A six-mile-long shared-used path in Ahwatukee, located south of the freeway between 40th Street and 17th Avenue
  • Changes to the alignment that reduce the amount of right-of-way required
  • Interchange reconfigurations, including diverging diamond interchanges at Desert Foothills Parkway and 17th Avenue, moving the interchange at 51st Avenue to Estrella Drive, and realigning the freeway at 59th Avenue south of Elliot Road
  • Locations of sound walls to mitigate freeway noise
  • A city of Phoenix pedestrian bridge north of Broadway Road to connect the Rio del Rey neighborhoods in Phoenix.

The updated video doesn’t reflect design changes made after January. As a design-build project, construction can start in some areas of the project while design is still being finalized elsewhere. This innovative contracting method pairs the design and construction teams to deliver a project from beginning to end. This approach is intended to save time and money by overlapping the design and construction phases.

With the launch of the new video, the project webpage at SouthMountainFreeway.com has other new content, including aesthetic renderings and construction photos.

The 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 as it runs east and west along Pecos Road and then north and south between 55th and 63rd avenues, connecting with I-10 on each end.

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.