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Loop 202 Deal = Lower Cost, Less Time

Construction to start this summer on largest highway project in state history

Map courtesy of ADOT

Source: Arizona Department of Transportation

The Arizona Department of Transportation will deliver the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway three years sooner and at a cost savings topping $100M by taking an innovative approach to selecting the team to design, build and maintain the highway.

ADOT finalized a public-private partnership Friday with the project team – Connect 202 Partners – that will serve in all three roles.

The 22-mile freeway, expected to open by 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 twice by Maricopa County voters, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system.

Connect 202 Partners will design and build the freeway corridor and provide maintenance for 30 years after construction. The team consists of Fluor Enterprises Inc., Granite Construction Co. and Ames Construction Inc., with Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. as the lead designer.

The fixed $916M contract for design and construction makes this the largest highway project in state history.

The amount required for the overall project is approximately $122M less than anticipated because of innovative approaches Connect 202 Partners proposed for construction and engineering, as well as reducing the amount of property that must be acquired for the freeway.

While the phrase public-private partnership may evoke visions of a toll road, that isn’t the case with the South Mountain Freeway. Instead, this agreement, ADOT’s first for a highway project, provides the advantages of lower cost and shorter timeline that come from having one team not only design and build the freeway, but maintain it afterward.

Innovations proposed by Connect 202 Partners include optimizing the design of the freeway to reduce the amount of right-of-way needed and improving efficiency by reducing the amount of earth needing to be hauled by trucks. The project will include construction of a 15-foot-wide multi-use trail along the existing Pecos Road alignment from 40th Street to 17th Avenue.

Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2016. Pre-construction activities, including geotechnical and utility work and property acquisition and preparation, have been underway since spring 2015 after ADOT received final federal clearance to move forward.

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