ADOT seeks teams for $1.8B Loop 202 South Mountain extension










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October  16, 2014, 11:12am MST UPDATED: Oct 16, 2014, 4:15pm MST

The blue line marks the preferred route for the South Mountain Freeway. ADOT seeks a development team to design the road, build it at one time and then maintain it. The agency has $1.8B for the winning team.

Eric Jay Toll  Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Department of Transportation is looking for teams to design, build and maintain the $1.8 billion South Mountain extension of Loop 202.

ADOT plans to review qualifications and create a short list of teams to submit the proposal to build the 17-mile freeway. Loop 202 South Mountain will run from near 59th Avenue and Interstate 10 in southwest Phoenix to Loop 202-Interstate 10 interchange at the Phoenix-Chandler border.

The request is generated by the first unsolicited highway development proposal ever submitted to ADOT. South Mountain Development Group (SMDG) – a joint venture of Kiewit Development Co., Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Sundt Construction, Inc. and Parsons Corp. – proposed in 2013 to design, build and finance the freeway.

Tom Janssen, Kiewit director of external communications, said at the time that building the freeway all at once would be less expensive than typical methods. Prior to the SMDG proposal, ADOT would have constructed the freeway in segments and phases. The joint venture team said it would be far more efficient to build it at one time.

ADOT spent nearly a year reviewing the unsolicited proposal before electing to go with a design-build-maintain approach.

With the environmental impact statement process nearing its end, ADOT is ready to fire up teams to polish credentials. Joint venturing firms have until Dec. 10 to submit their qualifications.

Even though SMDG turned in the original proposal, the partners still need to clear the short list review to re-propose their plan.

Normally, a freeway project would be budgeted over several years, but with the “get-it-done” approach, ADOT has to book funding all at once. The agency budgeted $1.8 billion to build the freeway, and will tap Maricopa Association of Governments regional road funds, the Highway User Revenue Fund — if it’s not further “swept” into the state general fund — and federal sources.

The agency will do some creative financing using regional road fund and HURF credit plus grant anticipation notes. These tools leverage committed local funds. Mesa used a similar method to advance construction of the Main Street light rail to Gilbert Road.

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