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The Valley's Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway PPP project in Arizona has received final approval from the USA Federal Highway Administration.
The Record of Decision, signed March 5 by the Federal Highway Administration, grants the final approval necessary for Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to begin the process of acquiring right of way, complete the design and begin construction of the 22-mile-long freeway to serve the metro Phoenix region.
The South Mountain Freeway is the largest project that ADOT has issued and it is one of the last major road projects in the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Transportation Plan. State Route 202, or Loop 202 is the beltway encompassing the eastern Phoenix, Arizona. The new 22-mile, eight lane freeway, will run from near 59th Avenue and Interstate 10 in southwest Phoenix to Loop 202-Interstate 10 interchange at the Phoenix-Chandler border.
The project will be developed on a design, build and maintenance (DBM) basis. The contract will have a period of 30 years.
The total project investment is estimated at US$1.9 billion. ADOT, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and Arizona Division of the Federal Highway Administration (ADFHA) have decided to use available public funds together with public financing to pay for the project.
In December last year ADOT received statements of qualifications from five teams to develop the road.
ADOT Director John Halikowski stated:
"The South Mountain Freeway has been approved as a part of two elections that have provided the region with additional transportation funding. Voters recognized the need and the benefits of this project to provide connectivity, travel reliability and route options for a growing region. Both ADOT and the Maricopa Association of Governments agree this is a critically needed project, and ADOT is breaking new ground by moving it forward under a public-private partnership agreement to more closely involve the private sector, helping to save money and speed construction."
Maricopa Association of Governments Chair Michael LeVault, mayor of Youngtown, commented:
"This is a great day and an important milestone in the history of the Valley's transportation system. It has been a long time coming, and we look forward to the improved mobility and economic opportunities that this freeway facility will bring to our region."
We have recently reported about several road PPP projects in the US: