Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway interchange set to open for traffic on Friday

Amid all the weekend freeway closures Valley residents have grown accustomed to, some good news, as the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is opening a major interchange along the new Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway on Friday.

"It's a great milestone because this is the first fully functional interchange along the entire 22-mile route," said Tom Hermann with ADOT.

SkyFOX Drone captured video of the interchange, located at 40th Street.

"We've had this intersection closed the last four months to build this interchange," said Hermann. "The folks here have had to drive around this intersection for the past four months. We get to open it up to them on Friday."

The interchange will re-open on Friday, right on schedule.

"When we announced the closure of this intersection back in May, we said it would open on September 6, and it will open on September 6," said Hermann.

While the freeway will eventually swallow up Pecos Road, for now, a lot of things will remain the same.

"Nothing changes on the freeway alignment," said Hermann. "The speed is still 40 miles per hour (~64 km/h) because we're not a fully functioning freeway yet."

From the air, it's easy to see all the progress being made.

"We have people working on traffic lights up at Cottonwood and here at the interchange. We are working all around this intersection here,"  said Hermann. "We do expect to open tomorrow, but I would hesitate to pick a time. Probably later in the afternoon."

The freeway is expected to be fully completed by early 2020, although ADOT says traffic should be moving on all 22 miles of the expansion by the end of the year.