Drivers thinking about using Loop 202 in Tempe any weekend through May, might want to think again. At least one piece of the freeway will close for six consecutive weekends, starting today.
That could make it particularly difficult for Easter holiday travelers to get around the Valley.
And it gets worse. Other key east-west roads in Tempe are torn up and restricted. And next weekend, Loop 101 will close at Apache Boulevard.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has warned drivers to prepare for delays — or to find other ways to get around the Valley.
“We are advising drivers to try to avoid the area, if at all possible,” ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said.
ADOT is closing portions of Loop 202 from Alma School Road in west Mesa to Van Buren Street in east Phoenix to pave it with rubberized asphalt.
At least one portion of the freeway has been closed nearly every weekend since February so crews could prepare for paving work.
With parts of Apache Boulevard and University Drive torn up, Tempe transportation officials suggest using U.S. 60, Broadway Road or McDowell Road.
This weekend, ADOT also will close all ramps to Loop 202 from Loop 101. Drivers should consider using U.S. 60 because the ramp closures could cause delays, Nintzel said.
Next weekend, ADOT will close the Price Freeway stretch of Loop 101 from Rio Salado Parkway to Broadway Road for light-rail work to the Apache Boulevard bridge.
Bad weather could delay future work, but ADOT officials said they hope to complete paving before the Memorial Day weekend.
“These are considered the driest months, but you can’t count on that,” Nintzel said. “We’re hoping Mother Nature cooperates.”
This weekend’s traffic restrictions
Eastbound Loop 202 will be narrowed to two lanes between Scottsdale Road and McClintock Drive from 10 p.m. today to 10 a.m. Saturday, and 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
The eastbound and westbound ramps from Loop 202 to northbound and southbound Loop 101 will be closed from 9 p.m. today until 5 a.m. Monday. Westbound Loop 202 between Alma School Road and Loop 101, will be closed from 9 p.m. today until 5 a.m. Monday.