South Mountain Freeway project starting to take shape

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The Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway project is about six months into major construction and progress is already visible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway project is about six months into major construction and progress is already visible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Right now, the 22-mile project is on schedule and expected to open in its entirety at the end of 2019.  (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Right now, the 22-mile project is on schedule and expected to open in its entirety at the end of 2019.  (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
ADOT says once complete, this freeway will offer much-needed traffic relief as an alternative to Interstate 10 linking the East and West Valleys. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ADOT says once complete, this freeway will offer much-needed traffic relief as an alternative to Interstate 10 linking the East and West Valleys. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway project is about six months into major construction and progress is already visible.

"Things are moving rapidly," said Arizona Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Dustin Krugel.

Right now, the 22-mile project is on schedule and expected to open in its entirety at the end of 2019. 

ADOT says once complete, this freeway will offer much-needed traffic relief as an alternative to Interstate 10 linking the East and West Valleys.

[RELATED: First bridge installation of South Mountain Freeway complete]

"The progress we've seen for the first six months, we are very happy with," Krugel said.

Several sections throughout the planned freeway are seeing large scale installations including the Pecos Road segment in Ahwatukee.

Seventeen steel reinforced concrete bridge girders were set into place at the new 17th Avenue and Pecos Road interchange just this week. Down the road at 40th Street and Pecos Road crews are wrapping up an installation of 16 girders for the new interchange there Wednesday night.

"Setting the girders is essentially the birth of a new bridge," Krugel said adding, "so as drivers are going through the 40th Street and Pecos interchange it's going to be very noticeable."

[READ MORE: ADOT asking drivers to slow down on Pecos Road]

[MORE: New South Mountain Freeway to utilize 'diverging diamond interchange'?]

In the West Valley, pillars and the makings of a revamped interchange on I-10 are taking shape to eventually connect to the new South Mountain Freeway.

Krugel says this is the largest single highway project in ADOT's history.

"The entire corridor will be built all at once," he said adding, "instead of opening small segments of the freeway, the freeway is going to open up in its entirety all at once."

They're hoping the only detours are ones they have to impose in order to get the job done and there will be plenty of those along the way.

[RELATED: Opponents of Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway protest prior to hearing]

"We're doing our best to try to mitigate and limit those traffic restrictions as much as possible but there's going to be times where we're going to have to have some full closures," said Krugel.

To find out about upcoming closures click here, you can also sign up for updates about upcoming construction.

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