PHOENIX – With a 100-ton crane standing adjacent to Interstate 10 near 59th Avenue and an oversized drill rig parked nearby in the median, work is getting underway to construct piers supporting the flyover ramps for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway interchange at I-10 in the West Valley.
A series of closures of westbound I-10 between 51st and 67th avenues are needed during the next few weeks to move this equipment to begin work on structures that will carry traffic over I-10 when the South Mountain Freeway opens by late 2019.
The first closure will last for approximately three hours between 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, and 5 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, when westbound traffic will exit and re-enter I-10 via ramps at 59th Avenue. Drivers should allow extra travel time.
There will be limited closures for the next few weeks as the equipment is moved from one location to another to drill deep foundations for the flyover ramp piers.
Over the next two years, crews from Connect 202 Partners, developer of the South Mountain Freeway project, will drill 43 shafts for the piers, using an auger to carve out 10-foot-diameter holes up to 100 feet deep. A crane will plant rebar cages in the holes, which will be filled with concrete.
In addition to the traffic interchange, improvements at the western end of the South Mountain Freeway include widening I-10 from 43rd to 75th avenues with merge lanes in each direction and adding two-mile-long access roads to improve traffic flow between 51st and 67th avenues. The new access roads will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction parallel to I-10.
The South Mountain Freeway 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 SouthMountainFreeway.com.