PHOENIX — Several miles of Loop 202 Extension in Ahwatukee opened up this week, from I-10 to 17th Avenue exit.  The portion beyond that is expected to open in the coming weeks.

"It's a mixed bag," explains Brad Metzger. "It’s a nice quiet community, so not looking forward to the additional noise and traffic."

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His Ahwatukee neighborhood sits right near 17th Ave., where the new 202 Loop will be opening up.  The project comes with other growing pains for some residents, including construction, closed roads and detours.

But Ricky Hines, who lives over on 40th St., welcomes the change.

"It’s great," he says. "It’s a long time coming so I’m glad that it’s finally here."

Whether you think it's good or bad, the change will be coming.  

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"The greater good of everyone is always an important thing in a community so hopefully it will make some people’s lives easier," Metzger explains.

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.