PHOENIX - The Arizona Department of Transportation confirms that the South Mountain Freeway is officially open.
Crews will be working throughout the day to remove all barricades.
The new South Mountain is part of the Loop 202 freeway already ringing much of the urban area and will provide a new connection between the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Chandler on the east and Interstate 10 in southwest Phoenix on the west.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other government officials, including the mayors of Phoenix and Tempe and the President of the Gila River Indian Community, gathered Wednesday to christen the new South Mountain Freeway.
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.
Work began in late 2016 with a connection to the Loop 202. Construction of the freeway and its numerous bridges began in earnest in 2017.
Much of the freeway’s route is along the foothills of South Mountain, a range along Phoenix’s southern border that is considered sacred by the nearby Gila River Indian Community.
The freeway was paid for with federal funds, cash from a Maricopa County transportation tax and state gas tax money.
The new freeway was recently given honorary designation of the Congressman Ed Pastor Freeway in honor of the late former congressman who helped secure federal funding for numerous public infrastructure projects in metro Phoenix. Pastor family members were also present for Wednesday's event.