PHOENIX — The new 22-mile section of the Loop 202 is officially open this weekend. The freeway connects the east and west Valley with a route through Ahwatukee Foothills and Laveen. 

ADOT crews removed barricades around 1 p.m. Saturday.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other government officials held a ceremony Wednesday at the freeway, which was designated as the Congressman Ed Pastor Freeway, in honor of the late former congressman, who passed away in 2015. 

Here are a few things you should look out for on the road:

  • The exits at 17th Ave. and Desert Foothills Parkway will have something called diverging diamond interchanges.  The design aims to reduce the number of crashes that come with merging and help ease flow off of the freeway. 
  • Some exits, like 32nd Street, are still closed as crews work to finish up the project. 
  • In some spots, the freeway speed limit drops down to 40 mph as crews finish up construction.
  • You can check here for all ADOT updates on the South Mountain Freeway extension.