I-17 101 traffic interchange

Southern to close at 59th Ave. for South Mountain Freeway interchange construction

Southern to close at 59th Ave. for South Mountain Freeway interchange construction

November 15, 2017

PHOENIX – Another critical step in building the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway will start Monday, Nov. 27, as construction begins on the Southern Avenue interchange, work that will require an extended full closure of Southern at 59th Avenue.

The closure, scheduled to last through March, will allow crews to build the southern half of one of the South Mountain Freeway’s 13 interchanges, including moving more than 450,000 cubic yards of dirt. Sixteen concrete piers have already been planted to support a bridge over Southern Avenue.

During the closure, traffic will detour to either Broadway or Baseline roads between 51st and 67th avenues. Approximately 10,000 vehicles per day travel through the intersection of Southern and 59th avenues.

In order to build the interchange, crews will complete the following work:

  • Perform earthwork needed for the freeway and connecting ramps
  • Begin construction of the 125-foot Southern Avenue  bridge over the freeway
  • Install underground utilities and drainage structures
  • Pave the eastbound Southern Avenue lanes

Southern Avenue will be widened to complete the interchange in two phases. This paving will allow crews to complete the northern half of the interchange without an extended closure.

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.

This is the second South Mountain Freeway interchange under construction in the Laveen area. Last month, work started on the Elliot Road overpass. Elliot Road at 59th Avenue will remain closed through the end of March.

The South Mountain Freeway, which is scheduled to open in late 2019, 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.