Traffic Now Using Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway In Metro Phoenix

By Nakiesha Johnson
Associated Press
Published: Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 2:10pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - 8:37am

loop 202 south mountain freeway
Arizona Department of Transportation
An aerial view of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

A new freeway to allow commuters and long-distance travelers to avoid taking Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix opened Saturday.

The 22-mile South Mountain Freeway is part of the Loop 202 that circles much of metro Phoenix.

The new east-west route connects at both ends with I-10, on the east near the Chandler-Phoenix line and the Santa Tan Freeway and on the west in southwest Phoenix.

“I noticed some people posted online, people who live in Ahwatukee and were downtown, so they took the South Mountain Freeway to get to work [Monday] and made it in 20 minutes instead of 45," said Tom Herrmann of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Herrmann says ADOT doesn’t have traffic counts yet nor traffic cameras, so it's difficult to get an accurate status on how much the freeway is being used. 

State officials held a celebration ceremony for the opening of the $1.7 billion freeway on Wednesday but it wasn't opened for traffic until Saturday once last-minute work and inspections were completed.

Construction began in 2016.