Feds approve $2 billion Phoenix Loop 202 extension

After 30 years of wrangling, controversial freeway expansion clears one more hurdle.

The $1.9 billion South Mountain Freeway has polarized metro Phoenix for 30 years. Reactions were no different Wednesday when the federal government finally approved the 22-mile highway.

Friday, the Federal Highway Administration will publish its formal decision to build the Loop 202 extension, which will join Interstate 10 near 59th Avenue in Laveen and at Pecos Road in Chandler.

The decision ends three decades of political wrangling over where the highway should be built, or if it should be built at all.

The federal action also marks the final hurdle, outside a courtroom, to construction. The Arizona Department of Transportation says it expects to turn dirt early next year and open four lanes of traffic in each direction by early 2020.

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