Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway extension 2/3rds complete

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- After decades of planning and years of construction, the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway extension is two thirds of the way complete.

Crews have been busy over the last year, having poured over 107,000 lbs (~48.534 metric ton) of asphalt, nearly 10 million cubic yards (~7.64 million cubic meter) of dirt had to be moved, and the project has used close to 11,000 tons (~9,900 metric ton) of rebar. In addition, there are 20 miles (~32.19 kilometer) of drainage pipe used.

The Loop 202 extension is a big project, and it will eventually carry drivers from the I-10 in Chandler to the I-10 in West Phoenix, traveling through the communities of Ahwatukee and Laveen. Construction is moving swiftly, and now, the outlines of the completed project are coming into view.

FOX 10's SkyFOX Drone captured the steady progress of the freeway extension. ADOT officials say there's work going on on every mile of the $1.7 billion, 22-mile (~35.4 kilometer) freeway.

"The most challenging parts are the new Loop 202 interchange at 59th Avenue in West Valley," said Dustin Krugel with ADOT. "Nearly 200,000 vehicles a day building a new interchange at this location."

The longest ramp is 1,500 feet (~457 meter) long. The engineering is complex, and there's also construction going on underneath the freeway for drainage. ADOT officials say so far. it's going smoothly and on schedule.

"We have had 1,000 workers, local businesses throughout the area couldn't do it without their help," said Krugel.

One thing ADOT officials say they need now is patience from drivers going through construction zones. It's going to be a mess for awhile longer, but it will get better. There will be lots of I-10 road closures on weekends, as construction continues.