Motorists have a new way to get around southeast Mesa with the opening of ADOTâ€™s project State Route 24 (SR 24), a new four-lane divided roadway between Ellsworth Road in Mesa and Ironwood Drive in Pinal County. The $77 million project funded through Proposition 400 opened today, bringing traffic connectivity to the rapidly growing area of the East Valley.
â€œThis project is a perfect example of why investments in local transportation infrastructure are so important,â€ said Mesa Mayor John Giles â€œSR 24 will be a big part of the success story for quality of life and economic opportunity in southeast Mesa and the East Valley.â€
The new five-mile freeway alleviates pressure on Ellsworth Road as residents in surrounding communities make their way into Mesa. Eastmark area residents have felt the need for additional transportation routes for years and SR 24 provides much-needed relief.
â€œThis accomplishment is the result of a successful partnership between ADOT, Mesa and other local communities, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and Federal Highway Administration,â€ said ADOT Director John Halikowski. â€œGovernor Ducey has supported our efforts to make this interim stretch of SR 24 a reality several years sooner than expected. It creates added mobility and flexibility for drivers in the region.â€
Mesaâ€™s Transportation Department worked closely with MAG and ADOT in planning the roadway systemâ€™s large-scale development, advocating for the bridge to be placed over Ellsworth Road to ease traffic congestion. The Signal Butte Interchange, currently under construction, will work with the SR 24 to provide additional options for drivers.
â€œWe need more routes to provide alternatives to Ellsworth Road and help people get to where they need to go,â€ said City of Mesa Transportation Department Director RJ Zeder. â€œThe City of Mesa has a project at Signal Butte Road that will tie into SR 24, bringing additional relief for people coming into Mesa for work, school and business. These systems work together to ease traffic congestion in an area experiencing exponential development and growth.â€
â€œI believe SR 24 will impact the overall economic growth by providing direct access to the East Valley to local businesses. Coupled with the future development of the North-South Freeway and better access to US-Mexican Customs at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, this extension of SR 24 will make Gateway the endpoint for trade with Mexico,â€ said District 6 Councilmember Kevin Thompson.
The opening of SR 24 comes at a time of economic development growth for Mesa. The expansion of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, the development of Bell Bank Park and arrival of major technology, aviation, aerospace and defense companies make east Mesa a hotspot for development and growth. New roadway systems enhance the growth potential of the area.
â€œThe need to support and strengthen transportation infrastructure throughout Maricopa County is only going to increase,â€ said Mesa Mayor John Giles. â€œTo meet the needs of our rapidly growing region, it is absolutely imperative that we find a solution to extend Proposition 400 before it expires in 2025, to make sure critical projects like this do not get left undone. Valley leaders are committed to finding a solution to get this on the ballot.â€
Information Source: AZ Big Media