April 2, 2020
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Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway  Opening | News Feed


[SHOW THEME MUSIC]>>GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT. IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE IN
ARIZONA TODAY. I HAVE TO SAY, IT’S WONDERFUL TO
BE DOING THIS IN DECEMBER. OTHER TIMES WE’VE OPENED
FREEWAYS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER, IT GETS A LITTLE WARM,
SO THANKFUL FOR THE WEATHER TODAY. THIS IS TRULY AN EXCITING DAY. IT’S ONE THAT’S BEEN MORE THAN
THREE DECADES IN THE MAKING. SINCE IT WAS FIRST PROPOSED IN
THE EARLY 1980s, THE LOOP 202 SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY HAS
ALWAYS BEEN ENVISIONED AS A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN THE EAST AND
THE WEST VALLEY. OVER THE YEARS, THIS PROJECT HAS
EVOLVED FROM AN IDEA, INTO THE LARGEST STATE HIGHWAY PROJECT IN
ARIZONA’S GREAT HISTORY. THROUGH A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND
HIGHWAY CONTRACT, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO ACCELERATE THIS ENTIRE
PROJECT. OUR INNOVATIVE PUBLIC-PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIP WITH CONNECT 202 PARTNERS HAS ALSO REDUCED THE
OVERALL COST TO DESIGN, BUILD, AND EVENTUALLY MAINTAIN THE
HIGHWAY. RIGHT NOW, MANY PEOPLE ARE HERE
WHO REPRESENT THE INCREDIBLE COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK SO
NECESSARY TO UNDERTAKE A PROJECT OF THIS MAGNITUDE. BEHIND ME, YOU SEE SOME OF THE
PEOPLE WHO HAVE PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN GETTING THIS FREEWAY
BUILT. ADOT IS FORTUNATE FOR ITS STRONG
PARTNERSHIPS THAT HAVE HELPED GUIDE US IN THE PLANNING,
DESIGN, AND DEVELOPMENT PHASES. WE’VE HAD A SOLID TEAM THAT
HELPED MOVE THIS PROJECT FORWARD EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE WHO
PLAYED A PART IN DELIVERING THIS REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
SOLUTION. AND NOW, AS DIRECTOR OF THE
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, IT’S MY
PRIVILEGE TO INTRODUCE THE PERSON WHO’S A DRIVING FORCE
BEHIND CREATING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL IN ARIZONA. AND TO WHOM I’M THANKFUL AND
GRATEFUL FOR, WHO HAD THE FAITH IN ME TO PROVIDE ME THE
OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF THIS GREAT ACHIEVEMENT. GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY.>>I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU,
DIRECTOR HALIKOWSKI, AND GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, AS 2019 COMES
TO A CLOSE, ARIZONA HAS MUCH TO CELEBRATE. AT A STATE LEVEL, WE WORKED VERY
HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR STATE IS OPEN FOR OPPORTUNITY, AND OUR
RESULTS REALLY SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. IN THE GAME OF STATES, PEOPLE
VOTE WITH THEIR FEET, AND ARIZONA IS WINNING. TODAY, ARIZONA IS THE NUMBER ONE
INBOUND STATE IN THE NATION. MARICOPA COUNTY IS THE FASTEST
GROWING COUNTY IN THE NATION, THREE YEARS RUNNING. AND MAYOR GALLEGO, THE CITY OF
PHOENIX IS THE FASTEST GROWING CITY IN AMERICA. AND AS MANY MORE PEOPLE CHOOSE
ARIZONA, WE’RE MAKING SURE OUR INFRASTRUCTURE REMAINS SOME OF
THE BEST IN AMERICA. TODAY WE CELEBRATE THE LARGEST
HIGHWAY PROJECT IN STATE HISTORY, THE NEW LOOP 202
SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY. THIS 22-MILE HIGHWAY REPRESENTS
A BIG STEP FORWARD IN CONNECTING THE EAST VALLEY AND THE WEST
VALLEY, AND AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE I-10 AND THE BROADWAY LOOP
THROUGH DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. THIS PROJECT IS THE RESULT OF AN
INNOVATIVE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT WILL SAVE
ARIZONA TAXPAYERS MORE THAN $100 MILLION. I ALSO WANT TO POINT OUT THAT
SAFETY WILL BE A TOP PRIORITY ON THIS NEW FREEWAY. THAT’S WHY WE BUDGETED AND
INCLUDED AN ADDITIONAL $6 MILLION TO HIRE NEW DPS PATROL
OFFICERS TO BE ON THIS PROJECT. THE PROJECT WAS A MASSIVE
UNDERTAKING THAT REQUIRED DECADES OF WORK FROM LOCAL,
STATE, TRIBAL, FEDERAL, AND PRIVATE PARTNERS. ALONG THE WAY, WHEN CHALLENGES
HAVE EMERGED, WE’VE SHOWN THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER IN A SPIRIT
OF PARTNERSHIP TO GET THINGS DONE. AND WITH 2020 RIGHT AROUND THE
CORNER, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO ALL THE FUTURE COLLABORATIONS
THAT WILL SERVE ALL ARIZONANS. TODAY, MY SINCERE THANKS GO OUT
TO GOVERNOR LEWIS, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR STONE, AND THE GILA
RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY. ALSO TO MAYOR KATE GALLEGO IN
THE CITY OF PHOENIX, TEMPE MAYOR MARK MITCHELL AND THE MARICOPA
ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS, KARLA PETTY AND THE FEDERAL
HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, AND DIRECTOR HALIKOWSKI AND HIS TEAM
AT ADOT. WE’RE ALSO GRATEFUL TO MANY
OTHERS. MICHAEL BIDWILL, THE PRESIDENT
AND CHAIRMAN OF THE ARIZONA CARDINALS. OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION. THE MANY ENGINEERS, CONTRACTORS,
AND WORKERS WHO BUILT THIS FREEWAY. AND THE COUNTLESS COMMUNITY
ORGANIZATIONS THAT REALLY SHAPED THIS PROJECT FOR THE BETTER. BEYOND THE PARTNERSHIPS THAT
BROUGHT THIS PROJECT TO LIFE, THIS FREEWAY IS SPECIAL FOR
ANOTHER REASON. THIS FREEWAY IS TAKING ON THE
NAME OF ONE OF ARIZONA’S PROUDEST PUBLIC SERVANTS. CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR WAS
SOMEONE WHO WORKED EVERY DAY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, AND HE
WAS A CHAMPION OF IMPROVING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE ACROSS
OUR NATION. I SEE MANY MEMBERS OF
CONGRESSMAN PASTOR’S FAMILY HERE TODAY, AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW
THAT ARIZONA IS HONORED TO RECOGNIZE CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR
IN THIS WAY. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO EVERYONE
WHO CAME TOGETHER TODAY TO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE. TOGETHER, WE’LL CONTINUE TO
BUILD BETTER ROADS AND A BETTER FUTURE FOR ARIZONA. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. NOW I’D LIKE TO HAVE THE
PRIVILEGE OF INTRODUCING THE MAYOR OF THE GREAT CITY WE’RE
STANDING IN, PHOENIX MAYOR KATE GALLEGO. MAYOR?>>WELCOME TO THE CELEBRATION OF
THE LARGEST FREEWAY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN ARIZONA, THE ED
PASTOR SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY. I’D LIKE TO THANK GOVERNOR
DUCEY, ADOT, GOVERNOR ROE LEWIS, COUNCILMAN NOWAKOWSKI, VICE
MAYOR GUARDADO, OUR TEAM IN PHOENIX, AND THE MANY, MANY
OTHER GROUPS WHO MADE TODAY A REALITY. BUT PARTICULARLY, WE WOULD LIKE
TO THANK THE PASTOR FAMILY FOR BEING WITH US HERE TODAY, AND
LETTING US HONOR ONE OF THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, CARING MEN WHO
HAVE EVER REPRESENTED THE STATE OF ARIZONA. TODAY IS A SPECIAL DAY FOR MANY
REASONS, BUT IT IS THE WEDDING ANNIVERSARY FOR ED AND VERMA
PASTOR. IT IS ALSO AN HONOR TO BE HERE
WITH SO MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM ACROSS OUR COUNTY. THIS FREEWAY IS PART OF A COG
SYSTEM, AND WHEN ONE SECTION FUNCTIONS BETTER, OUR ENTIRE
FREEWAY WILL BE BETTER. SO YOU WILL SEE BENEFITS FROM
THIS FREEWAY WHETHER YOU LIVE IN THIS SECTION OF PHOENIX, OR
WHETHER YOU’RE COMING FROM THE EAST VALLEY, OR WEST. AND I THINK THAT’S PART OF THE
REASON WE SEE SUCH STRONG SUPPORT FOR THIS PROJECT FROM
ELECTED OFFICIALS ACROSS MARICOPA COUNTY. IT IS QUITE A WHO’S WHO HERE
TODAY. WE’RE ALSO HERE TO CELEBRATE A
VERY COMPLICATED PROJECT THAT IS AN INFRASTRUCTURE NERD’S DREAM. I’M SPEAKING FROM PERSONAL
EXPERIENCE HERE. IT HAS 40 BRIDGES, 15
INTERCHANGES, A SIX-MILE SHARED USE PATH IN AHWATUKEE, A
PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE JUST NORTH OF BROADWAY ROAD. WE ALSO HAVE PARK AND RIDE
FACILITIES ALONG THE WAY THAT WILL HELP MAKE SURE THAT BUS
USERS CAN BENEFIT FROM IT. SO WHETHER YOU’RE A PEDESTRIAN,
A DRIVER, OR A BUS RIDER, YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE IN
TODAY’S BRIDGE. A PERSONAL POINT OF PRIDE, ALL
22 MILES ARE IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX, SO OUR CITY IS NOW A
STRONGER AND MORE CONNECTED CITY. BUT WE KNOW THAT THIS WILL HELP
US HAVE BETTER RELATIONSHIPS AND CONNECTIVITY WITH OUR NEIGHBORS
AS WELL, AND WE WANT TO CELEBRATE THAT. THE PROJECT DATES BACK TO 1983,
WHEN REGIONAL PLANNERS FIRST ENVISIONED ITS DESIGN. ONE OF ITS STATE SENATORS,
SEAN BOWIE FROM AHWATUKEE, WAS BORN THE YEAR AFTER THAT. [LAUGHTER] SO WE CELEBRATE MORE THAN THREE
DECADES THAT HAVE BROUGHT THIS PROJECT TOGETHER. FUNDING WAS ALLOCATED IN 1985,
AND THEN AGAIN IN 2004 THROUGH VOTER-APPROVED REGIONAL
TRANSPORTATION FUNDING KNOWN AS PROP 300 AND PROP 400. THE AREA WHERE WE SIT NOW MAY BE
PART OF AN EVEN LARGER CORRIDOR WITH STATE ROUTE 30, SO WE’RE
CONTINUING TO ASK OUR VOTERS TO SUPPORT OUR FREEWAY
INFRASTRUCTURE. AND THEY CONTINUE TO STEP UP AND
SAY YES, WE DO WANT TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE IN AMERICA’S
FASTEST GROWING COUNTY. SO WE WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY
WITHOUT THE WISDOM OF OUR VOTERS. I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE ARIZONA
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR WORKING WITH THE CITY OF PHOENIX
AND IMPACTED COMMUNITIES. IT IS NO DOUBT THAT THE
COMPLETION OF A FREEWAY WILL CAUSE CONCERNS AND RAISE
QUESTIONS WITH NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES, AND I APPRECIATE
ADOT’S EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS. THERE ARE NEW INTERCHANGES THAT
WERE ADDED AT THE END OF THE PROJECT. THESE INTERCHANGES AT 32ND
STREET AND JUST SOUTH OF ESTRELLA, WHICH IS NOW CALLED
VEE QUIVA WAY. AND THEY WILL EXIT DIRECTLY INTO
THE GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY, STRENGTHENING OUR TIES WITH THE
COMMUNITY. BOTH INTERCHANGES WERE THE
RESULT OF FLEXIBILITY AND COOPERATION ON ALL SIDES — ADOT
BEING FLEXIBLE AND ENGAGING AND LISTENING TO MEMBERS OF THE
COMMUNITY, SPECIFICALLY THE AHWATUKEE COMMUNITY AND THE GILA
RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY. WHEN WE UNDERTAKE PROJECTS OF
THIS MAGNITUDE, IT AFFECTS MOTORISTS, TRAFFIC PATTERNS, AND
LOCAL BUSINESS. IT’S VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT ALL
STAKEHOLDERS HAVE THIS COLLABORATIVE APPROACH AND STAY
OPEN TO NEW IDEAS. FOR EXAMPLE, EARLY ON, THE CITY
OF PHOENIX HAD SOME CONCERNS ABOUT INTERCHANGES WHERE THE
ROADWAY WAS GOING OVER THE FREEWAY INSTEAD OF AT GROUND
LEVEL. WE FELT THAT OUR COMMUNITIES ON
BOTH SIDES OF THE FREEWAY WOULD BE BETTER CONNECTED WITH GROUND
LEVEL ROADWAYS, AND ADOT WORKED WITH US TO ADDRESS THAT AND HELP
US SAY WE WANT TO BUILD CONNECTED COMMUNITIES, AND
STRENGTHEN TIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE FREEWAY. THAT HAS ALSO ALLOWED US TO DO
SOME ADVANCED CONSTRUCTION WORK, AND TRY TO SPEED UP SO THAT AS
THE FREEWAY OPENS, MORE AND MORE BUSINESSES WILL BE ABLE TO OPEN
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I LIVE IN THE FREEWAY CORRIDOR,
AS DOES COUNCILMAN MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI, AND WE ARE VERY
EXCITED FOR OUR NEW MOVIE THEATER THAT IS COMING IN WITH
THIS NEW PROJECT. THE HARKINS MOVIE THEATER, I DO
HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO THE HARKINS FAMILY. WE WERE VERY EXCITED WHEN WE HAD
THE HARKINS MOVIE MONKEY COME OUT TO ANNOUNCE THE MOVIE
THEATER IN LAVEEN. BUT MY SON WAS A LITTLE TOO
EXCITED AND PULLED ON THE MOVIE MONKEY MASCOT’S TAIL A LITTLE
BIT TOO HARD. HE’S TWO, BUT HE’S STRONGER THAN
HE LOOKS. I WANT TO THANK OUR CITY STAFF,
WHO WORKED TO MAKE SURE THAT COMMUNITIES BENEFIT FROM THIS
PROJECT. OUR STREETS DEPARTMENT, ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT, PLANNING, PUBLIC TRANSIT, ARE JUST A FEW OF THOSE
WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE A STRONGER, SAFER
CORRIDOR WITH MAXIMUM BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY. THANK YOU TO OUR CITY MANAGER,
AND DEPUTY CITY MANAGER WHO ARE HERE TODAY. AND FINALLY, I WANT TO THANK OUR
CONTRACTED ARTIST, JODY PINTO, ALONG WITH THE PHOENIX OFFICE OF
ARTS AND CULTURE, FOR WORKING WITH THE RIO DEL REY AND
SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES, AS WELL AS AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO GET
THEIR INPUT ON THE VERY EXCITING CONCEPT OF THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE
JUST NORTH OF THE BROADWAY ROAD. JODY IS KNOWN WORLD OVER
FOR HER INTEGRATION OF ART INTO ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPE. NOW WE WILL NOT ONLY HAVE A VERY
MODERN AND VISUALLY APPEALING PIECE OF BRIDGE ARTWORK, BUT WE
CAN ALSO PROVIDE GREATER SAFETY TO OUR CHILDREN. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING TODAY. THANK YOU TO THE GOVERNORS,
ADOT DIRECTOR, AND ALL MY CITY, REGIONAL, AND TRIBAL COLLEAGUES
FOR COMING OUT TO CELEBRATE THIS PROJECT. I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY BETTER
COMMUTES ON THIS PROJECT, AND AROUND IT. THANK YOU.>>IT’S BEEN SAID THAT YOU’RE
ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR PARTNERSHIPS. AND ONE OF THE REASONS WE’RE
STANDING HERE TODAY IS THAT THE MARICOPA ASSOCIATION OF
GOVERNMENTS REGIONAL COUNCIL HAD THE FORESIGHT TO BEGIN PLANNING
OUR FREEWAYS BACK IN THE ’80s. AND THAT PARTNERSHIP AND THEIR
FORESIGHT TO BRING FUNDING TO THE TABLE HAS LED TO WHERE WE’RE
STANDING TODAY. NOW IT’S MY PRIVILEGE TO
INTRODUCE TEMPE MAYOR MARK MITCHELL, CHAIRMAN OF THE
MARICOPA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS REGIONAL COUNCIL. MAYOR?>>THANK YOU, AND GOOD MORNING. I REALLY AM HONORED TO BE HERE
THIS MORNING, NOT ONLY AS A LEADER IN THE EAST VALLEY
COMMUNITY THAT WILL SEE AN IMPORTANT NEW CONNECTION TO THE
SOUTH — AS WELL AS TO THE SOUTHEAST VALLEY AS WELL AS TO
THE SOUTHWEST VALLEY. I’M ESPECIALLY PROUD TO BE HERE
TODAY AS A CHAIR OF THE MARICOPA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS,
WHICH STARTED, OF COURSE, 30 YEARS AGO TODAY. MAG AND THE PARTNERSHIP
SHARING THE STAGE HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY OVER THE THREE
DECADES TO SEE THIS MOMENT REALLY COME TO FRUITION. IT IS MY HONOR TO BE THE CHAIR
WHO BEARS FINAL WITNESS TO DELIVERY OF A PROMISE TO THE
MARICOPA COUNTY VOTERS TO COMPLETE THE LOOP 101 AND THE
LOOP 202 SYSTEM. IT TRULY IS A HISTORIC MOMENT. WHEN SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY
OPENS TO TRAFFIC, IT WILL SEE MORE THAN 100,000 CARS A DAY,
AND SAVE SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL TIME, NOT ONLY FOR FOLKS USING
THIS NEW FREEWAY, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE BYPASSING THE MAJORITY
OF PHOENIX. OUR DAILY COMMUTERS SHOULD
EXPERIENCE SOME CHANGES AS WELL. THIS NEW FREEWAY WILL ALSO
CREATE THE IMPORTANT NEW ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES. MAG ESTIMATES 55 PERCENT OF THE
POPULATION GROWTH AND 58 PERCENT OF THE EMPLOYMENT GROWTH WILL
TAKE PLACE IN THE SOUTHEAST AND THE SOUTHWEST AREAS OF THE
VALLEY, CONNECTED BY THE SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY CORRIDOR. THIS MEANS ECONOMIC VITALITY,
NOT JUST FOR THOSE AREAS, BUT REALLY FOR THE ENTIRE REGION. I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY
TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE FOR MY REGIONAL COUNCIL PREDECESSORS
AND PEERS, AS WELL AS THE NUMEROUS MAG STAFF THAT HAVE
WORKED TIRELESSLY ON THIS PROJECT. I APPLAUD THE PREVIOUS REGIONAL
COUNCILS FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP IN BRINGING US TOGETHER FOR THIS
CELEBRATION HERE TODAY. I’D BE REMISS IF I DID NOT
RECOGNIZE TWO PEOPLE HERE TODAY WHO HAD BEEN INVOLVED WITH THIS
PROJECT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING — FORMER MAG EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DENNIS SMITH. LET’S GIVE DENNIS A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. AS WELL AS OUR CURRENT EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, MR. ERIC ANDERSON. THANK YOU BOTH. DENNIS AND ERIC, YOUR VISION AND
YOUR STEWARDSHIP FOR WHAT HAS BECOME THE LARGEST
TRANSPORTATION PROJECT IN OUR STATE’S HISTORY. WE THANK YOU FOR THAT. WHILE WE ARE DISCUSSING
VISIONARIES, WE ARE NAMING THIS STRETCH OF THE HIGHWAY AFTER ONE
OF THE MOST ICONIC CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATES FOR ARIZONA. CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR SERVED
ARIZONA FOR 24 YEARS IN THE CONGRESS, AND SERVED ON THE
COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS BEFORE THAT. HE WAS REALLY INSTRUMENTAL IN
SHAPING THE PHOENIX METRO AREA THAT WE ALL SEE HERE TODAY. NEARLY EVERY MAJOR
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT IN ARIZONA, DURING HIS YEARS OF
SERVICE, WAS HELPED TO FRUITION AND MADE TO FRUITION BY
CONGRESSMAN PASTOR. HE SERVED HIS DISTRICT AND THE
STATE OF ARIZONA WITH DISTINCTION. IT IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE WITH
CONGRESSMAN PASTOR’S FAMILY TO CELEBRATE THIS GREAT DEDICATION. ARIZONA WAS SO LUCKY AND
FORTUNATE TO HAVE ED PASTOR AS OUR ADVOCATE, AND I WAS LUCKY TO
HAVE CALLED HIM A FRIEND. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING.>>PARTNERSHIPS AREN’T JUST
IMPORTANT AT THE LOCAL, COUNTY, AND STATE LEVEL. THEY ALSO HAVE TO EXIST AT THE
FEDERAL LEVEL. NEXT UP IS A FRIEND OF MINE WHO
IS NOT ONLY A MENTOR, BUT A COUNSELOR FOR ME AS WE’VE GONE
THROUGH THIS PROCESS. OUR FEDERAL HIGHWAY
ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN A GREAT PARTNER IN MAKING THIS HAPPEN. I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE KARLA
PETTY, OUR FEDERAL HIGHWAY DIVISION ADMINISTRATOR FOR
ARIZONA. KARLA?>>THANK YOU, JOHN, AND GOOD
MORNING. WHAT A GREAT MORNING IT IS TODAY
TO COMMEMORATE THE OPENING OF THE STATE ROUTE LOOP 202 SOUTH
MOUNTAIN FREEWAY, AND THE DESIGNATION OF THE CONGRESSMAN
ED PASTOR FREEWAY. FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
IS PROUD TO BE A PARTNER IN THIS HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT. I’M HONORED TO BE JOINING
ARIZONA GOVERNOR DUCEY, GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY GOVERNOR
LEWIS, STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS, AND ESTEEMED GUESTS
HERE TODAY. TRANSPORTATION IS AN ENABLING
SERVICE. IT ENABLES INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE
ACCESS. IT PROVIDES MOBILITY AND
CONNECTIVITY, AND SERVES AS A FOUNDATION TO A PROSPEROUS
ECONOMY. FHWA’S MISSION IS TO ENABLE AND
EMPOWER THE STRENGTHENING OF A WORLD-CLASS HIGHWAY SYSTEM THAT
PROMOTES SAFETY, MOBILITY, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, WHILE ENHANCING
QUALITY OF LIFE. THIS NEW 22-MILE SEGMENT OF
STATE ROUTE LOOP 202, WHICH CONNECTS THE EAST AND WEST
VALLEYS THROUGH SOUTHWEST PHOENIX, IS AN EXCELLENT
DEMONSTRATION OF FHWA FULFILLING OUR MISSION HERE IN ARIZONA. AS YOU KNOW, THE PHOENIX REGION
CONTINUES TO GROW, AND THIS PROJECT WILL SUPPORT THAT
GROWTH. THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROJECT ARE
SIGNIFICANT, AND WE WILL SEE THEM FOR YEARS TO COME. THEY WILL BE ENJOYED BY
RESIDENTS, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND THE REGIONAL
COMMUTERS. THIS SEGMENT OF THE LOOP 202
WILL PROVIDE FASTER AND EASIER ACCESS BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST
VALLEY CITIES, WHILE MAKING IT MORE CONVENIENT FOR RESIDENTS TO
ACCESS OTHER PARTS OF THE VALLEY FOR WORK, EDUCATION, SHOPPING,
AND ENTERTAINMENT. NOW, YOU’VE HEARD, BUILDING A
CORRIDOR OF THIS MAGNITUDE, IT DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN. IT IS A RESULT OF MANY, MANY
PEOPLE AND AGENCIES PULLING TOGETHER AND WORKING
COLLABORATIVELY. AND IS A RESULT OF MANY, MANY
YEARS, MONTHS, AND DAYS OF WORKING TOGETHER. TODAY, AS WE COMMEMORATE THE
OPENING OF THIS CORRIDOR, WE ALSO CELEBRATE THE PARTNERSHIPS
THAT HAVE SUPPORTED AND MADE THIS VITAL LINK IN THE PHOENIX
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM A REALITY. I HAVE PERSONALLY WORKED ON THIS
PROJECT AND HAVE EXPERIENCED PARTNERSHIPS BEING STRENGTHENED,
BEING RENEWED, AND BEING CREATED THROUGH THIS PROJECT. THIS PROJECT BROUGHT NEW AND
INNOVATIVE IDEAS TO ARIZONA. INVESTMENTS IN INNOVATION IS A
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE OF FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, AND WE
APPLAUD THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR EMPLOYING
INNOVATION WITH THIS PROJECT. A SPECIFIC INNOVATION THAT I
WOULD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT IS THE DELIVERY METHOD. YOU HEARD THE DIRECTOR MENTION
IT. THIS IS THE FIRST FREEWAY
PROJECT IN ARIZONA TO UTILIZE A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT
COMBINES DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND MAINTENANCE INTO A SINGLE
CONTRACT. THIS METHOD HAS SIGNIFICANTLY
SAVED BOTH TIME AND MONEY. SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY OF HIGHWAY
PROJECTS IN ARIZONA IS A RESULT OF OUR TREMENDOUS AND WONDERFUL
PARTNERS. THESE PARTNERS ARE BOTH PUBLIC
AND PRIVATE, AND MANY ARE REPRESENTED BY THE HONORED
GUESTS WE HAVE HERE TODAY, AND EACH HAVE A VITAL ROLE TO PLAY. PROJECT BY PROJECT, MILE BY
MILE, WE ARE STRIVING TO MODERNIZE, PRESERVE, AND
MAINTAIN OUR STATE AND REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE,
AND BUILD A BETTER FUTURE. LET ME END BY THANKING THE MANY
PEOPLE AND AGENCIES THAT HAVE WORKED TO MAKE THIS PROJECT A
SUCCESS. THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY
ADMINISTRATION LOOKS FORWARD TO CONTINUING OUR PARTNERSHIP TO
PROVIDE SAFE AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS. I ASK YOU AS USERS OF THIS NEW
FREEWAY TO REMEMBER, YOU HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN HIGHWAY SAFETY
AS WELL. PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER TO DO
YOUR PART TO MAKE OUR ARIZONA HIGHWAYS SAFE BY BEING SAFE AS A
DRIVER. BUCKLE UP, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD. BE ATTENTIVE. NO TEXTING. AND DO NOT DRIVE IMPAIRED. IN CLOSING, IN THE WORDS OF THE
USDOT SECRETARY CHAO, YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KARLA. WISE WORDS. NOW, THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO
BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS HIGHWAY, INCLUDING THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES
THAT IT’S GOING TO OPEN UP FOR PEOPLE TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM OUR
GROWING WEST VALLEY — INCLUDING SOME OF ARIZONA’S MOST POPULAR
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS. HERE WITH US TODAY IS A TRUE
CHAMPION OF ARIZONA, AND SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN MY PARTNER IN
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE GIVE A WARM WELCOME TO
THE CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF THE ARIZONA CARDINALS,
MICHAEL BIDWILL.>>THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL
OF THE LEADERS THAT HAD A HAND IN MAKING TODAY POSSIBLE. TODAY IS REALLY A GAME-CHANGER
FOR ARIZONA BUSINESS, AND I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. BECAUSE WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE
DOING GOING FORWARD IS CREATING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS
FOR ARIZONANS AND CREATING THOSE OPPORTUNITIES. IT’S FANTASTIC. WHAT’S REALLY FANTASTIC IS JUST
SEEING THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT’S COME TOGETHER
BETWEEN THE GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY, THE STATE OF ARIZONA,
THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, MAG, THE CITY OF
PHOENIX SUCH AN IMPORTANT PARTNER. TO HAVE THIS ALL TO COME
TOGETHER. IT WAS GREEN-LIGHTED JUST A FEW
YEARS AGO, AND WE SAW THE SPEED AND PACE THAT I DOUBT HAS EVER
HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA, TO HAVE SUCH A HIGHWAY
OF THIS LENGTH COME TOGETHER SO QUICKLY. IT’S GOING TO BE A GAME-CHANGER
FOR ARIZONA. IT’S GOING TO BE A GAME-CHANGER
FOR THE EAST VALLEY AND THE WEST VALLEY. THE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
INDUSTRY IS JUST ONE PART OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. FOR US, MONDAY NIGHT GAMES AND
THURSDAY NIGHT GAMES ARE GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER. FOR THE COYOTES, ALL THOSE GAMES
THAT THEY HAVE, THIS IS GOING TO CONNECT THEM TO THE EAST VALLEY,
AND IT’S GOING TO BE SUPER, ABSOLUTELY AWESOME FOR ALL THOSE
HOCKEY FANS. AND THEY JUST SIGNED A NEW
PLAYER YESTERDAY THAT’S GOING TO MAKE THAT TEAM REALLY A
GREAT TEAM AS WE GO FORWARD. I WAS THINKING ABOUT IT. I’M NOT SURE EVERYBODY
UNDERSTANDS THAT WE’RE JUST 37 AND A HALF MONTHS AWAY FROM OUR
NEXT SUPER BOWL HERE. 14 MONTHS AFTER THAT, WE HAVE A
FINAL FOUR, OUR SECOND FINAL FOUR HERE IN THE VALLEY. THOSE EVENTS BROUGHT SO MUCH
EXPOSURE, SO MUCH OF AN ECONOMIC TSUNAMI THAT CAME THROUGH THAT
OVER THE DAYS OF THOSE EVENTS. BUT THE TAIL OF THE TALE IS THAT
WE’VE RECRUITED A LOT OF COMPANIES. THE GOVERNOR AND I WITH OTHERS
WORKED VERY HARD TO RECRUIT LOTS OF COMPANIES WITH HIGH-PAYING
JOBS. AND SO WE’VE GOT AN ADDITIONAL
14,000 JOBS, 32 COMPANIES, ABOUT OVER $2 BILLION OF INVESTMENT. WE’LL BE DOING THAT AGAIN THIS
TIME AROUND. AND IT COULDN’T BE MORE
EXCITING. THAT STADIUM, STATE FARM
STADIUM, HAS BEEN AN ECONOMIC ENGINE. WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO USE
IT THAT WAY. LASTLY, I WANT TO WRAP UP AND
SAY ALL THOSE WHO HAD A HAND IN MAKING SURE THAT THIS FREEWAY
WAS NAMED AFTER CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR, JOB WELL DONE. THERE COULDN’T BE ANYBODY MORE
WELL DESERVING. WHAT A GENTLEMAN. A PERSON WHO LOVED ARIZONA AND
BROUGHT US TOGETHER TO GET GREAT PROJECTS LIKE THIS DONE. SO ED, THANK YOU FOR YOUR
LEADERSHIP ON SO MANY PROJECTS. BUT I WOULD SAY IN THE LAST
DECADE, DECADE AND A HALF, THERE’S NOTHING MORE SIGNIFICANT
THAN WHAT WE’RE DOING TODAY. SO THANK YOU AGAIN FOR HAVING
ME, AND THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENTS, GOVERNOR.>>THANK YOU, MR. BIDWILL, AND
THE ARIZONA CARDINALS FOR BEING HERE. PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY. AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE
FOR COMING TODAY, AND THANKS TO ALL OF OUR LEADERS AND SPEAKERS
IN THE AUDIENCE. BUT BEFORE WE DO END THINGS
TODAY, I WANT TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR. WHEN I WAS A NEWLY MINTED
DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IN 2009, I WAS
PRETTY ANXIOUS AND A LITTLE NERVOUS. AND I FIRST MET CONGRESSMAN
PASTOR THAT FEBRUARY IN WASHINGTON, DC. AND HE HAD A WAY OF BRINGING YOU
BACK TO WHAT’S IMPORTANT IN HIS OWN HUMBLING WAY. AND I WAS THERE IN FRONT OF HIM
IN HIS OFFICE, AND I SAID, I’M JUST REALLY EAGER TO GET
STARTED. I’VE GOT BIG PLANS. I WANT TO DO A LOT OF THINGS. AND HE LOOKED AT ME AND HE SAID,
WELL, I DIDN’T THINK YOU WERE JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE. AND I ASSURED HIM I WASN’T. BUT ANYONE WHO KNEW HIM HAS
STORIES ABOUT HOW HE WAS COMMITTED TO ARIZONA. HE ALWAYS FOUGHT FOR HIS STATE
AND FOR HIS CONSTITUENTS, PARTICULARLY WHEN IT CAME TO
TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. CONGRESSMAN PASTOR WORKED TO
FIND SOLUTIONS, AND WAS ALWAYS WILLING TO LISTEN. I’M SO PROUD TO SEE THIS FREEWAY
NAMED AFTER HIM. I’D ALSO LIKE TO RECOGNIZE AGAIN
THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO’VE WORKED TO BUILD THIS FREEWAY. WHILE A PROJECT OF THIS SCALE
TAKES CAREFUL PLANNING, FUNDING, AND DESIGN, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
WOULD EVER GET BUILT WITHOUT THE EFFORTS OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO
DID ALL OF THE WORK. TO THE APPROXIMATELY 1,400
PEOPLE WHO WERE ON THIS PROJECT, I’D LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR GETTING THIS JOB
WELL DONE. FINALLY, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU
TO THE PUBLIC, ESPECIALLY THE RESIDENTS WHO LIVE NEARBY
AND HAVE HAD AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT THE CONSTRUCTION. YOU’VE PROVIDED YOUR INPUT FROM
THE START, AND HAVE HELPED US SHAPE THIS INTO A BETTER
PROJECT. THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR YOUR
PATIENCE. VERY SOON, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO USE
THE LOOP 202 SOUTH MOUNTAIN PASTOR FREEWAY. AT ADOT, OUR TRUE NORTH IS
EVERYONE SAFELY HOME. THIS IS OUR FIRST CONSIDERATION
IN ALL WE DO. ADOT’S MISSION IS CONNECTING
ARIZONA, CONNECTING EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EVERY DAY. THIS NEW FREEWAY BRINGS
OPPORTUNITY AND CONNECTIVITY FOR ALL OF US. PLEASE USE IT SAFELY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [APPLAUSE] PostCAP LLC
postcapllc.com
855-335-0911

David Frank

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8 COMMENTS

  1. ROB Zman Posted on December 19, 2019 at 12:10 am

    I can't wait to take a drive on it! …and who knows, maybe Baseline Rd will finally be less congested with avg mph under 60 😁

    Reply
  2. Jaime G Posted on December 19, 2019 at 3:59 am

    so much land to buy and build more buildins

    Reply
  3. Andre Newcomb Posted on December 19, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    I have a sister living in Phoenix. She'll be safer now because L.A.-Dallas/Houston traffic can now have a shorter drive and traffic in the urban can be less congested for awhile. Makes room for the Broadway Curve to be addresssed.

    Reply
  4. Zeus Estrada Posted on December 20, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    So when does it open? December 21st?

    Reply
  5. Robert Slydell Posted on December 21, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    I don't need politicians smiling and celebrating, just open the fucker.

    Reply
  6. Scott Walters Posted on December 23, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Test drove this today from my home in Laveen to my workplace in Tempe just off Elliott/I-10. Nice 20-minute swing that will sure beat the heck out of the daily drudgery of the Baseline commute.

    Reply
  7. Ryan Bahe Posted on December 24, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Yay! Now we need a subway to connect all the downtowns in the valley. The light rail isn't doing much.

    Reply
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