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Utility work starts on South Mountain Freeway

South Mountain Freeway by the numbers.

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 PHOENIX – A 300-foot-long cut along the embankments of Interstate 10 near 55th Avenue is the first sign of construction in the West Valley for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

 Crews have started utility relocation work that’s needed before the Arizona Department of Transportation can start on the I-10/Loop 202 interchange at 59th Avenue, which is scheduled to begin in 2017.

 The utility work includes relocating large SRP siphons carrying water under I-10.

 In addition to the traffic interchange, improvements for the South Mountain Freeway will include widening I-10 from 43rd to 75th avenues with auxiliary 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.

 With eight siphons needing to be excavated and moved, a siphon at 55th Avenue is the first to be relocated. Now that the earthwork is completed, crews are placing a 42-inch concrete pipe inside a 60-inch steel casing underneath the freeway.

 I-10 motorists will see eastbound and westbound lane and ramp restrictions from 51st to 67th avenues through early 2017 as this work continues.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction equipment and personnel.

The 22-mile South Mountain 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 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.

 Construction of the South Mountain Freeway began in September with improvements to the I-10/Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) interchange. Work includes extending Loop 202 HOV lanes and widening the shoulders to Pecos Road near 48th Street

 For more information, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com.

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