The year 2019 ended with the opening of South Mountain Freeway, the largest freeway project in state history. While 2020 won’t see quite such a major freeway achievement, construction crews will be busy on four important freeway projects. Below is a short summary of what you can expect in the year ahead. I-17: Central Avenue Bridge This project will replace the existing bridge at Interstate 17 and Central Avenue on the Maricopa Freeway. The bridge height will be brought up to current clearance standards and lengthened to accommodate the Valley Metro South Central Light Rail Extension. The bridge will be widened to accommodate auxiliary lanes* between successive ramps on I-17. The project includes new I-17 roadway approaches, retaining walls, technological improvements, lighting improvements, drainage improvements, and signing and striping. Construction cost: $20.4 million Loop 303 (Estrella): Happy Valley Parkway to Lake Pleasant Parkway This project will construct one general purpose lane in each direction in the median of Loop 303/Estrella Freeway (SR-303L) from Happy Valley Parkway to Lake Pleasant Parkway. The project also will include the construction of a new traffic interchange at Jomax Road. The new interchange will be signalized and accommodate two through lanes in each direction. The project work includes new concrete pavement, sound walls, drainage improvements, signing and striping, technological improvements, ramp gore lighting, upgrades that will improve ADA accessibility, and landscape seeding. Construction cost: $34.8 million SR-24 (Gateway): Ellsworth Rd. to Meridian Rd. (Ironwood Rd.) This project will construct a new interim freeway from Ellsworth Road to Ironwood Road within the right of way for the ultimate State Route 24/Gateway Freeway (SR-24). The interim freeway facility will include a new traffic interchange at Ellsworth Road. The interim roadway will be two lanes in each direction separated by a graded median and will follow the entrance and exit ramp alignments with at-grade intersections at Williams Field Road, Signal Butte Road, Meridian Road, and Ironwood Road. The project will provide a grade separated structure at Mountain Road and an offsite drainage channel on the north side of the SR-24 alignment. The project includes improvements to the Powerline Floodway within ADOT’s right-of-way, signing, striping, and minimal utility relocations. Construction cost: $134.8 million I-10: SR-85 to Verrado Way This project will add one general purpose lane in each direction in the median of Interstate 10/Papago Freeway (I-10) between State Route 85 (SR-85) and Verrado Way. The project also will reconstruct the traffic interchanges at Miller Road and Watson Road. The project work will include new concrete pavement at the cross streets, new lanes on I-10, sound walls, drainage improvements, signing and striping, technology improvements, ramp gore lighting, upgrades that will improve ADA accessibility, and landscape seeding. Construction cost: $103.8 million *An auxiliary lane is an extra lane on the entire length of highway between interchanges, giving drivers more time to merge in or out. The lane is created when an entrance ramp meets the highway, and drops out (with an “exit only” sign) to become the ramp at the next exit.