New freeway to link Loop 202 and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

April 02, 2012

Travelers flying through Gateway Airport in Mesa will soon be able to access the east side of the airport more easily. The Arizona Department of Transportation will break ground Tuesday on a new state route they’re calling the Gateway Freeway. 

Arizona State Route 24 will run from the Loop 202 Santan Freeway to Gateway Airport. Construction was originally slated to start in 2016, but the city of Mesa sped things up by issuing bonds to fund the project.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says he doesn’t want Gateway to be just a reliever airport for Sky Harbor. “We think, actually, it should be an expansion airport," Smith said. "If we can take some short-haul traffic away from Phoenix, so Phoenix can go after more lucrative long-haul routes, the entire region will grow."

"Our goal is certainly not to take traffic away from Sky Harbor," Smith said. "It’s to build overall traffic and overall economic activity, and it’ll be a win-win situation.”

Smith says that increasing airport access will also be key down the road, as Gateway plans to add another terminal sometime in the next 10 years.

State Route 24 should be finished a little over a year from now.

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