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Last girder installed for segment of South Mountain Freeway near Laveen

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX – Crews placed the final support beam for the Dobbins Road interchange over the weekend as construction of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway moves closer to completion.

It was the last of 459 steel-reinforced concrete girders needed for the Salt River segment of the 22-mile project, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The segment, which runs north and south from Lower Buckeye Road to around Estrella Drive in the Laveen area, includes six interchanges and two half-mile bridges over the Salt River.

The largest bridge beams were 174 feet long and 170,000 pounds, the biggest ever used for an ADOT project.

Construction began on the South Mountain Freeway in early 2017 and is scheduled to be fully completed in 2020. However, ADOT said traffic was expected to start using the new roadway before then.

The final portion of the Valley’s Loop 101 and 202 system will connect the East Valley and West Valley with a route that bypasses downtown Phoenix.

It will pick up where the Loop 202 currently ends at Interstate 10 near Pecos Road and reconnect with I-10 at 59th Avenue in west Phoenix.

As part of the construction, Pecos Road from 17th to 24th streets will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday nights into April.

ADOT estimates that as many as 190,000 vehicles will use the route daily by 2035.

Progress updates as well as information about road closures due to construction can be found on the project’s website.

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