Crews Lay SMF Foundation in Early 2017

Work begins on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s largest-ever highway project.

Wed January 04, 2017 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Crews begin pouring concrete to widen Pecos Road for the South Mountain Freeway project.
Crews begin pouring concrete to widen Pecos Road for the South Mountain Freeway project.

Construction scheduled to start early this year on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway may not be as visual as the 22 mi. (35.4 km) of uninterrupted asphalt to come, but each task lays a foundation for completing this link between the West Valley and East Valley by the end of 2019.

Along the freeway corridor in the first half of 2017, crews will be setting foundations for some of the 40 bridges that will be built, including two 2,700-ft. (823 m)-long spans across the Salt River; widening eastbound lanes of Pecos Road to maintain two-way traffic flow during construction; and creating access roads at the freeway's future interchange with Interstate 10 in west Phoenix.

Other construction scheduled for early 2017 by Connect202 Partners, the developer responsible for designing and building the $1.77 billion freeway, includes creating drainage structures and roadway embankments; relocating utilities; and continuing to extend HOV lanes west from the Loop 202 Santan Freeway.

As mainline work starts on the Arizona Department of Transportation's largest-ever highway project, detailed information on these and other construction plans, as well as traffic impacts, is available at

Freeway construction is divided into four segments:

• I-10 Papago, between the I-10 Papago Freeway interchange at 59th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road

• Salt River, from Lower Buckeye Road to 51st Avenue near Estrella Drive

• Center, from 51st Avenue to 32nd Lane

• Pecos Road, from 32nd Lane to the I-10/Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange.

In the first half of 2017, construction will occur in all but the Center segment, where work isn't scheduled to begin until mid-2018.

Preliminary construction began in September with improvements to the I-10/Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange, including extending Loop 202 HOV lanes and widening the Pecos Road shoulders to near 48th Street. On the west side of the project, utility work has included relocating large Salt River Project siphons carrying water under I-10.

The 22-mi. freeway, expected to open late 2019, will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix.

Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.

For more information, visit

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