ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona leaders celebrate upcoming South Mountain Freeway opening

Dec 18, 2019, 3:00 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2019, 1:50 pm

PHOENIX — State and city leaders held a ceremony Wednesday morning to celebrate the upcoming opening of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

Officials said the 22-mile freeway will open to drivers before the end of the year, but they would not give a specific date.

The road connects Interstate 10 from the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in the East Valley to I-10 at 59th Avenue in the West Valley, allowing drivers to bypass downtown Phoenix.

Construction on the freeway began in 2016. It is expected to carry about 117,000 vehicles each day in its first year.

The state’s largest single freeway project was also the first in Arizona’s history to be constructed through a public-private partnership.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s office said in a press release this arrangement allowed the road to be completed three years early and save more than $100 million.

Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and other dignitaries attended the ceremony.

“Arizona has solidified its reputation as a state that is open for opportunity, and as we welcome hundreds of new residents every day, we are making sure our infrastructure remains some of the best in America,” Ducey said in the release.

“This Loop 202 opening represents a big step forward in connecting the East and West Valleys, as well as prioritizing safety for drivers.”

In October, the state Board on Geographic and Historic Names approved “Congressman Ed Pastor Freeway” as an honorary designation for the road in memory of the late congressman.

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Arizona leaders celebrate upcoming South Mountain Freeway opening