A first-of-its-kind highway contract in Arizona accelerated the completion schedule of the South Mountain Freeway by three years, while saving the state more than $100 million.
Ames Construction, in a design-build-maintain joint venture (Connect 202 Partners), constructed a multi-year, 26-mile segment of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix. The long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley was designed to ease traffic congestion while providing a much-needed alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix. The new corridor also opens opportunities to multiple businesses migrating or expanding to the West Valley, creating economic value for the entire area. Being located along the freeway provides access and ease of mobility for their products and their people.
Using the innovative P3 (public-private partnership) method of construction, the team accelerated the schedule while reducing overall project costs without compromising quality. This is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the State of Arizona, and the first time ADOT has used P3 construction.
The 26-mile project included 22 miles of new mainline, four miles of improvements on the existing I-10, 13 interchanges, 40 bridges, and five multi-use underpass crossings. A major element of the work included new northbound and southbound bridges over the Salt River that were constructed with the largest girders ever installed in the state—292 total, each 170 feet long. The project also had a significant environmental component including the capture and relocation of more than 150 chuckwallas—rock-dwelling lizards unique to South Mountain Park.
In addition to the freeway, construction of the highly anticipated six-mile-long shared-use recreational path along the freeway’s south side accommodates pedestrians and other forms of non-vehicular traffic. The path provides important connectivity for bicyclists as part of the City of Phoenix Comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan.
The completed freeway opened to traffic on December 21, 2019.
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