The U.S. District Court in Phoenix denied an attempt to halt construction of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in a court order released last week, and work on the project remains on track.
The court's order denied a motion for an injunction, saying that the plaintiffs are not likely to prevail on appeal.
“I believe that the completed South Mountain Freeway will provide a great overall economic benefit to the growing Maricopa County region and relief to users of the system, particularly where Interstate 10 passes through downtown Phoenix,” Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Director John Halikowski said. “We are moving forward with a project supported by Maricopa County voters and our partners – the city of Phoenix and the Maricopa Association of Governments – that will make the Phoenix metro area a better place to live and do business.”
In August, the court granted the Federal Highway Administration’s and ADOT’s motions for summary judgment, concluding that the agencies have complied with federal law in moving forward with the project. Last year, the court rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have halted all work leading up to construction.
The 22-mile freeway, expected to open by late 2019, will provide a long-planned link between the East Valley and West Valley and serve as an alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix. Maricopa County voters approved the project in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan.
Construction began in September with improvements to the I-10/Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) interchange. The project includes extending Loop 202 HOV lanes and widening the shoulders to Pecos Road near 48th Street. Construction on the main freeway is set to begin early next year.