The Valley's freeways are soon to include a new addition, one that has been 30 years in the making. If you have lived in the Valley for a while you may have heard of the phantom South Mountain Freeway. The 22-mile long freeway project is the last leg of the Loop 101/202 system that would impact the metro-Phoenix area and improve regional mobility. In 1985 Maricopa County voters first approved the construction of a South Mountain Freeway with Proposition 300. That proposition allowed funding for the freeway as part of The Maricopa Association of Governments' Regional Freeway Program. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 400 which again allotted funding through the Regional Transportation Plan. ADOT Director John Halikowski says “voters recognized the need and the benefits of this project to provide connectivity, travel reliability and route options for a growing region.” Final approval for the long-anticipated project finally came on March 5th when the Federal Highway Administration signed the Record of Decision. This final approval allows ADOT to start acquiring right of way, which will begin immediately, for the freeway's construction.
The project is expected to take about four years to complete at a cost of $1.9 billion. The new segment of freeway will run east and west along Pecos Road and then north and south between 55th and 63rd avenues. This corridor will connect with Interstate 10 on either end. South Mountain Freeway will use rubberized asphalt and have three general-use lanes and one HOV lane running in each direction. For more information and to see a map of the proposed Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, visit the project's page at azdot.gov.
Jay Ciulla is a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.