Arizona State Route 202

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State Loop 202 marker

State Loop 202
Route information
Maintained by ADOT
Length: 57.17 mi[1] (92.01 km)
Existed: 1990 – present
Major junctions
CCW end: I-10 in Phoenix
CW end: Pecos Road in Ahwatukee
Counties: Maricopa
Highway system
SR 195 SR 210

State Route 202, or Loop 202, (spoken as two-oh-two) is a partial beltway looping around the eastern Phoenix metropolitan area of central Arizona. It traverses the eastern end of the city of Phoenix, in addition to Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert, making it very vital to the metropolitan area freeway system.

Loop 202 has various names along its route:

Route description[edit]

The route currently begins at the Mini Stack interchange with Interstate 10 (I-10) and State Route 51 (SR 51) in Phoenix, and ends at I-10 near Ahwatukee.

Loop 202 consists of three sections. Two of these, the Red Mountain Freeway and the Santan Freeway, have been fully completed. The third section, known as the South Mountain Freeway, is under construction.

Red Mountain Freeway[edit]

The first section of Loop 202 to open was the Red Mountain Freeway. It runs from the I-10/SR 51 Mini Stack interchange to US  60. It passes over the Salt River and through Tempe and Mesa en route, with an interchange with Loop 101 in Tempe. The final segment of the freeway from Power Road to University Drive opened on July 21, 2008.[2] This opening marked the completion of the original Regional Freeway System as approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 by Proposition 300.[3]

In 2006, this portion of Loop 202 was used to portray a Saudi Arabian superhighway in the 2007 film, The Kingdom. Filming also took place at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus. The city of Mesa received $40,000 for the use of the freeway from NBC Universal.[4]

As of October 2012, HOV lanes on the Red Mountain section run from I-10/SR 51 to Gilbert Road. In 2015, the HOV lanes were extended from Gilbert Road to Broadway Road. HOV lanes are planned to extend to US 60 in Mesa, eventually tying into planned HOV lanes on the Santan Freeway.

Santan Freeway[edit]

Completed in 2006,[5] the Santan Freeway serves the southeast valley cities of Chandler, Gilbert, and Mesa. It provides access to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, the former Williams Air Force Base. Beginning at the SuperRedTan Interchange with US 60 in Mesa, the freeway runs south and turns westward in Gilbert near the airport. A few miles later the Santan is running in Chandler, where it has a junction with Loop 101 in the vicinity of the Chandler Fashion Center. Following this interchange, the Santan Freeway section of Loop 202 encounters its terminus at a stack interchange with I-10 near Ahwatukee.[6]

The Santan section has HOV lanes between I-10/Pecos Rd. and Gilbert Rd. Long term plans call for HOV lanes to extend to US 60 and to the HOV lanes on the Red Mountain section.


The highway originally was assigned many different route numbers along its path. The portion of the Red Mountain Freeway west of the Pima/Price Freeways was formerly known as the "East Papago Freeway," and it was initially designated SR 217.[7] The remainder of the Red Mountain Fwy. was to be SR 216.[8] The San Tan Freeway was originally routed as SR 220.[9] The South Mountain Freeway portion was initially supposed to be SR 218.[10] The Loop 202 designation was first assigned on December 18, 1987, along the East Papago and Red Mountain Freeway corridors and the portion of the San Tan Freeway east of Price Road.[11] At that time, the portion of Loop 202 west of Price Rd. was to become part of Loop 101.[12] But on July 19, 1991, the proposed South Mountain Freeway was renumbered as part of Loop 202.[13] Although the San Tan Freeway portion of Loop 101, from I-10 to Price Rd., has never officially been renumbered, this section has been signed as Loop 202 since its opening.


The third segment of Loop 202, named the South Mountain Freeway, received final approval from the Federal Highway Administration, on March 10, 2015, with construction scheduled for completion as early as 2019.[14][15]

Before that it was, and remains, the most controversial[16] segment of the Loop 202 partial beltway. Construction was delayed due to tension between three groups: regional transportation planners, who insisted that the freeway is necessary to ensure smooth traffic flow in the coming decades;[17] residents of the adjacent Ahwatukee community, who could lose 120 homes to eminent domain depending on the road's final alignment; and leaders and residents of the adjoining Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), who have oscillated between opposing and supporting the freeway in recent years.[18]

The South Mountain Freeway has two distinct segments: the "eastern segment" that straddles the Ahwatukee-GRIC border and the "western segment" that will parallel 59th Avenue through the southwest Phoenix community of Laveen. Together, these segments would form a 21.9-mile bypass around Downtown Phoenix, linking the metropolitan area's southwestern and southeastern suburbs. The freeway as currently approved would begin at the existing four-level symmetrical stack interchange between I-10 and the Santan Freeway on the Chandler-Ahwatukee border and terminate at I-10 and 59th Avenue west of Downtown Phoenix.[19]

The specific alignment of the freeway has been revised repeatedly since 1985, when Maricopa County voters originally approved its construction as part of the regional highway network envisioned under Proposition 300.[20] In 1988, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the region's transportation planning agency, suggested an alignment of the freeway's western segment along 55th Avenue and an alignment of the eastern segment along Pecos Road.[21] A federal study in 2001 required ADOT to reexamine those suggestions, and the task of recommending the final alignment fell to a Citizen's Advisory Team formed in 2002. In April 2006, that panel released their final recommendations to route the western portion of the freeway four miles further west to connect with Loop 101, and to reject the proposed alignment of the eastern portion along Pecos Road, suggesting that the latter be built on Gila River Indian Community land instead.[22][23] Two months later, ADOT overruled the panel's suggestion for the western segment and opted for the current 59th Avenue alignment instead.[21]

In February 2012, a non-binding referendum was held in the Gila River Indian Community on whether the eastern portion of the freeway should be built on community land several miles south of Pecos Road. Options in the referendum were to build on community land, off community land, or not at all. The "no build" option won a plurality of votes, receiving 720 votes out of a total 1,481 cast.[24] MAG sent out a press release soon after making it clear that construction of the freeway would move forward as planned along the Pecos Road alignment.[17] Expecting this outcome, MAG and ADOT had previously (in 2010) shrunk the freeway's footprint from 10 lanes to eight to minimize its impact on Ahwatukee.[25] Fearing the worst possible outcome of the freeway being built without exits onto community land (as would be the case with the Pecos Road alignment), Gila River Indian Community residents quickly formulated plans for a new referendum that would exclude the "no build" option, leaving only "yes on Gila River or no on Gila River."[26] The tribal government rejected this proposal in July 2013.[27]

As late as September 2013, the freeway still faced active opposition. A non-profit group called the Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment filed a civil-rights complaint with ADOT in July, claiming the freeway would disproportionately and adversely affect tribe members. A freeway opposition group called Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children planned an environmental lawsuit.[28] And the Environmental Protection Agency in August 2013 raised several objections to the state's 12-year, $21 million draft environmental impact statement that had deemed construction of the freeway to be more beneficial to the environment, by improving traffic flow and thus reducing pollution, than building no freeway at all. The EPA claimed that the statement contained overly optimistic traffic projections, did not sufficiently address air quality concerns, and could harm neighboring communities and environmental resources.[29]

In March 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Record of Decision approving the project and selecting a build alternative. ADOT immediately thereafter commenced right-of-way acquisition and the procurement of final design and construction services in the form of a design-build-maintain contractor or "developer." The developer will be selected at the end of 2015 and freeway construction will begin in early 2016, with the Chandler Boulevard extension project to facilitate local access beginning in summer 2015. The freeway is planned to be open to traffic in late 2019 or early 2020.[30] However, new lawsuits in June 2015 from the group Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children, the Sierra Club, and the Gila River Indian Community threaten to delay the freeway's construction.[31][32]

On August 26, 2015, ADOT started demolition of the first houses along the route for the South Mountain Freeway.[33]

On February 27, 2016, the contract to design, build, and maintain the freeway was awarded to Connect 202 Partners, a joint venture led by Fluor Corporation, with Fluor, Granite Construction, Ames Construction, and Parsons Brinckerhoff being responsible for the final design and construction, and with Fluor and DBi Services, LLC being responsible for maintenance for 30 years.[34]

A six-mile stretch of the freeway, from 40th St to 17th Ave, will include a 16 foot wide bike path. The path will be on the south side of the freeway and will also be open to pedestrians. The path was included because the existing roadway had been a popular cycling route for years.[35]

The first phase of construction of the South Mountain Freeway segment of Loop 202 began on September 19, 2016 with improvements to the I-10/Loop 202 Santan interchange.[36]

In early 2017, ADOT announced an updated design for the freeway, including Arizona's first diverging diamond interchanges at Desert Foothills Parkway and 17th Avenue; a reconfiguration near 51st Avenue that moves the freeway interchange to Estrella Drive in order to avoid a GRIC well; and a pedestrian bridge to connect the Del Rio subdivisions divided by the freeway.[37][38]

By April 2017, ADOT had purchased 1,387 acres (561 ha), or 90% of the land needed for the freeway. While construction was underway in 2017 on both ends of the freeway segment, no work will occur on a 5-mile center segment adjacent to South Mountain until a final decision is made by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A ruling is expected in mid-2018 in the action brought by the Gila River Indian Community.[39]

Exit list[edit]

Exit numbers of the South Mountain Freeway portion are approximate. The entire route is in Maricopa County.

Location mi
km Exit Destinations Notes
Phoenix 0.00 0.00 Begin Red Mountain Freeway
I-10 west – Los Angeles Counterclockwise terminus; exit 147A on I-10
0.28 0.45 1A I-10 east / SR 51 north – Tucson, Sky Harbor Airport Mini Stack; westbound exit and eastbound entrance; south end of SR 51
0.31 0.50 I-10 west HOV interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance; exit 147C on I-10
0.75 1.21 1B 24th Street
1.76 2.83 1C 32nd Street
3.27 5.26 2 40th Street / 44th Street
3.51 5.65 3 SR 143 / Washington Street / McDowell Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; exit 5 on SR 143
4 52nd Street / Van Buren Street
Tempe 5.35 8.61 5 To SR 143 south – Sky Harbor Airport Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; access via unsigned SR 202 Spur
6 Priest Drive / Center Parkway
7.73 12.44 7 Scottsdale Road / Rural Road
Salt River 8.22 13.23 West end of bridge
8.70 14.00 8 McClintock Drive Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
9.22 14.84 East end of bridge
Mesa 9.66–
9 Loop 101 Exit 51 on Loop 101
11.07 17.82 10 Dobson Road
12.07 19.42 11 Alma School Road
12.73 20.49 12 McKellips Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
13.23 21.29 13 SR 87 (Country Club Drive) – Payson
16.55 26.63 16 Gilbert Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
18.10 29.13 17 McDowell Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
19.05 30.66 19 Val Vista Drive
20.07 32.30 20 Greenfield Road
21.08 33.92 21 Higley Road – Falcon Field Airport
22.17 35.68 22 Recker Road
22.95 36.93 23A Power Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
23.73 38.19 23B McDowell Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
24.91 40.09 25 McKellips Road
26.39 42.47 26 Brown Road
27.86 44.84 27 University Drive to Apache Trail / Main Street Signed as University Dr. only northbound
28.92 46.54 28 Broadway Road
30A-B US 60 – Phoenix, Globe Signed as exits 30A (east) and 30B (west);
SuperRedTan Interchange; exit 190 on US 60
Red Mountain Freeway transitions to Santan Freeway
31.01 49.91 31 Baseline Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
32.05 51.58 32 Guadalupe Road
33.05 53.19 33 Elliot Road
34A SR 24 east To Ellsworth Road; west end of SR 24
34B Hawes Road – Gateway Airport
MesaGilbert line 36.55 58.82 36 Power Road – Gateway Airport Also serves ASU Polytechnic Campus
Gilbert 38.55 62.04 38 Higley Road
40.75 65.58 40 Williams Field Road Serves SanTan Village Mall and Power Center
41.75 67.19 41 Santan Village Parkway Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
42.41 68.25 42 Val Vista Drive Serves Mercy Gilbert Hospital
GilbertChandler line 44.48 71.58 44 Gilbert Road Serves Gilbert Crossroads Power Center
Chandler 45.48 73.19 45 Cooper Road – Chandler Airport
46.48 74.80 46 McQueen Road
47.55 76.52 47 SR 87 (Arizona Avenue) Serves Downtown Chandler
48.56 78.15 48 Alma School Road
49.56 79.76 49 Dobson Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
50.58 81.40 50A Loop 101 north Clockwise end of Loop 101; exits 61B-C on Loop 101
50.65 81.51 50B Price Road Serves Chandler Fashion Center
50.74 81.66 50C Loop 101 north Westbound exit and eastbound entrance;
HOV interchange; exit 61D on Loop 101
51.65 83.12 51 McClintock Drive / Chandler Village Drive Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
53.65 86.34 53 Kyrene Road
55A-B I-10 (Maricopa Freeway) – Tucson, Phoenix Signed as exits 55A (west) and 55B (east);
exits 161A–B on I-10
55C I-10 west HOV interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance; exit 161C on I-10
Phoenix 55.30–
Pecos Road west Temporary CW terminus; future transition to South Mountain Freeway
56 40th Street Planned diamond interchange[37]
59.17 95.22 58 24th Street Planned diamond interchange[37]
60.97 98.12 60 Desert Foothills Parkway Planned diverging diamond interchange[37]
62.97 101.34 62 17th Avenue Planned diverging diamond interchange[37]
64 Estrella Drive Planned double roundabout interchange[37]
66 Elliot Road Planned diamond interchange[37]
67 Dobbins Road Planned modified diamond interchange[37]
68 Baseline Road Planned diamond interchange[37]
69 Southern Avenue Planned diamond interchange[37]
70 SR 30 west Planned interchange with the eastern terminus of SR 30[37]
71 Broadway Road Planned diamond interchange[37]
72 Lower Buckeye Road Planned diamond interchange with 59th Avenue service roads[37]
73 Buckeye Road Planned diamond interchange with 59th Avenue service roads[37]
74 Van Buren Street Planned diamond interchange with 59th Avenue service roads[37]
I-10 east Planned HOV ramps; northbound exit and southbound entrance[37]
75 I-10 (Papago Freeway) Planned directional-T interchange to replace exit 138 on I-10[37]
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Spur route[edit]

Arizona Spur 202 is an unsigned state highway located in Phoenix. It begins at the Red Mountain Freeway (Loop 202) at exit 5. It continues west, intersecting the Hohokam Expressway (SR 143) and ends at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This is an unsigned route, marked by westbound exit signs from Loop 202 as Sky Harbor Boulevard. The spur route was commissioned in 1993.[1]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Maricopa County. All exits are unnumbered.

Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Phoenix 1.22 1.96 Sky Harbor Boulevard – Sky Harbor Airport Continuation beyond western terminus
44th Street south Former SR 153 (Sky Harbor Expressway); eastbound exit and westbound left entrance
44th Street north Former SR 153 (Sky Harbor Expressway); eastbound left exit and westbound entrance
PhoenixTempe line 1.03 1.66 SR 143 south to I-10 No exit ramps to SR 143 north; no eastbound entrance from SR 143 south; exits 3A–B on SR 143
Tempe 0.30 0.48 Priest Drive / Center Parkway – Downtown Tempe Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
0.00 0.00 Loop 202 east Eastern terminus; exit 5 on Loop 202
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Roadway Inventory Management Section, Multimodal Planning Division (December 31, 2013). "2013 State Highway System Log" (PDF). Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Freeway opening scheduled for July 21". The Arizona Republic. Phoenix, AZ. Retrieved July 10, 2008. 
  3. ^ Staff. "Loop 202 Power to University". Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Is that Loop 202?". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved March 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ Staff. "Loop 202 (Santan Freeway)". Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ Project Map L202 (Map). Cartography by ADOT. Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  7. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 217". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 216". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 220". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 218". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  11. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 202L". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  12. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Right-of-Way Resolutions - Route Number: 101L". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  13. ^ Breyer, Joe. "Arizona DOT Right-of-Way Resolution 1991-07-A-056". Arizona Highway Data. Works Consulting LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  15. ^ "ADOT given green light to construct new freeway". 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  16. ^ Caitlin Cruz. "Gila River landowners' signatures back South Mountain Freeway". Arizona Republic. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "MAG News". 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  18. ^ Cathryn Creno. "184 homes in South Mountain Freeway path, planners say". Arizona Republic. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ "SR-202L ? South Mountain Freeway Design Review Summary" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  20. ^ "2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  21. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  22. ^ "Central District Projects". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  23. ^ "Central District Projects". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  24. ^ Holstege, Sean (2012-02-07). "Gila River tribe appears to reject South Mountain Freeway". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  25. ^ "Central District Projects". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  26. ^ Seligman, Allie (2012-02-08). "Tribal vote may not end South Mountain Freeway struggle". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  27. ^ Holstege, Sean. "No new tribal vote on South Mountain Freeway". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  28. ^ Holstege, Sean. "Feds: South Mountain Freeway impact study flawed". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  29. ^ "National Environmental Policy Act | US EPA" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  30. ^ "Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway) Project Homepage". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  31. ^ "Opponents sue to stop Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  32. ^ "Gila River tribe sues to prevent South Mountain Freeway". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  33. ^ "State begins to remove homes in path of Phoenix freeway expansion - ABC15 Arizona". 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  34. ^ "Fluor-Led Joint Venture Awarded Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway Project". Business Wire. February 29, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  35. ^ Copolla, Chris (April 5, 2016). "South Mountain Freeway to include a bike path in Ahwatukee". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  36. ^ "South Mountain Freeway construction scheduled at I-10/Loop 202 interchange". Arizona Department of Transportation. September 15, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "South Mountain Freeway Flyover Visualization". ADOT (via YouTube). March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  38. ^ Reiser, Lindsey (March 17, 2017). "New South Mountain Freeway to utilize "diverging diamond interchange"". AZFamily. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  39. ^ Guzzom, John; Weil, Karen (May 29, 2017). "Construction Revs Up on P3 Feeway Project in Phoenix". Engineering News Record. p. 12. 
  40. ^ Google (January 16, 2016). "Arizona State Route 202" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  41. ^ Google (January 16, 2016). "Pecos Road" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata