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Indianapolis, IN, USA (HQ)

903 E. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

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Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway Opens to Traffic

PHOENIX, AZ — The Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway is open to traffic, providing an alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix while improving the quality of life in a fast-growing region. The freeway opened three days after a grand opening ceremony that featured Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski and other Valley leaders.

Using a public-private partnership for the state’s largest-ever highway project, ADOT was able to open the 22-mile freeway three years earlier than if it had been built as a series of traditional projects. The agreement also allowed ADOT to deliver the $1.7-billion South Mountain Freeway at a cost savings of more than $100 million.

“This Loop 202 opening represents a big step forward in connecting the East and West Valleys, as well as prioritizing safety for drivers,” Ducey said. “My thanks to the local, state, tribal, federal and private partners who helped bring this project to fruition ahead of schedule with major cost savings.”

Completing the Loop 101 and Loop 202 system, the South Mountain Freeway travels between Interstate 10 at the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in the East Valley and I-10 at 59th Avenue in the West Valley. It is projected to carry about 117,000 vehicles per day within its first year and as many as 190,000 vehicles per day by 2035.

It is Arizona’s first highway project built using a public-private partnership, which combined design, construction and maintenance in a single contract. Connect 202 Partners, the developer chosen for the project, will maintain the South Mountain Freeway for the next 30 years under the agreement.

“This freeway is open on an ambitious timeline because of the innovation, creativity and dedication of our teams at ADOT and at Connect 202 Partners,” Halikowski said.

While the freeway is open to traffic, work will continue into 2020 in several areas, including a traffic interchange at 32nd Street, a six-mile multi-use path between 40th Street and 17th Avenue in Ahwatukee and landscaping.

Connect 202 Partners, consisting of Fluor Enterprises Inc., Granite Construction Co. and Ames Construction Inc., with Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. as the lead designer, completed more than 5.5 million hours of work without an incident causing lost time while using more than 120 subcontractors and suppliers.

“Working in partnership with ADOT over the last three and half years, we have achieved our goal of providing Arizona with a safe, innovative, cost-effective and much-needed freeway that will help alleviate traffic congestion, stimulate the economy and improve the safety and operational efficiency for drivers throughout the Phoenix-metro area,” said Walter J. Lewis, III, Senior Project Director for Fluor and Connect 202 Partners.

Among the freeway’s 15 interchanges are Arizona’s first two using a diverging diamond configuration that promotes traffic flow and safety. The freeway’s 40 bridges include two half-mile spans over the Salt River that have the longest concrete bridge girders (175 feet) ever used in Arizona. It features three travel lanes and a HOV lane in each direction.

The South Mountain Freeway has long been part of the region’s transportation plans. Maricopa County voters approved it in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan.
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