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Construction on new South Mountain Freeway could finish 3 years early

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

CHANDLER — Builders are excited for commuters and truckers because they’ll have a brand new freeway ahead of schedule.

The construction company’s CEO called it proof that projects can finish effectively.

“We’re three years early, and $100 million under the original plan,” David Seaton of Fluor Corporation said.

He said the South Mountain Freeway could open in December for a total cost of $1.7 billion, and he credits a strong private-public partnership.

The 22-mile stretch of highway will provide a new connection for motorists traveling between the East Valley and West Valley that bypasses downtown Phoenix.

“The federal government is not going to do a highway infrastructure bill like they did during the Eisenhower administration,” he said.

“The private sector does have the wherewithal to do these types of programs.”

The Arizona Department of Transportation also credited the private-public partnership to make nine separate projects on the freeway into one.

“We had three very large construction firms work together to build the South Mountain Freeway,” ADOT Spokesman Dustin Krugel said.

He said Connect 202 Partners fine-tuned future right-of-ways, among other aspects.

“We’ll have excess land that ADOT may be able to sell at the end of the project,” Krugel said.

He said commuters complained of construction delays at first, but now they’re excited the South Mountain Freeway could alleviate congestion on Interstate 10.

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