The final leg of state Route 51 will link with Loop 101 next week, providing the critical tie to the rest of the Valley’s freeway system almost two months ahead of schedule.
The $38 million stretch of pavement will give south Scottsdale and Arcadia neighborhood residents a quicker way to get to Sedona and Flagstaff. Plus, it will give north Scottsdale, Cave Creek and Carefree residents a shorter commute to downtown Phoenix.
The 2.4-mile section of freeway between Bell Road and Loop 101 will open May 31.
An open house today will give people a chance to walk, jog and ride bikes on the new section of state Route 51, also known as the Piestewa Freeway, a week before it opens to traffic.
Police officers will help direct traffic from the southbound freeway entrance ramp at Union Hills Drive. People can walk, jog, cycle or skate on the freeway before the pavement is given to automobiles. People can also stop by community booths and view car displays, along with construction and firefighting vehicles. Free refreshments will be provided by project contractor Pulice Construction.
Arizona Diamondbacks organist Bobby Freeman is slated to perform. A $75.7 million modernization project south of the new leg of state Route 51 continues between Shea Boulevard and Interstate 10. Major features of the yearlong project include construction of new high-occupancy vehicle lanes, enhanced sound barriers and a rubberized asphalt overlay from Shea to McDowell Road.