A 4 1/2-mile segment of the Red Mountain Freeway stretch of Loop 202 in east Mesa is undergoing a test drive. The Arizona Department of Transportation sought dozens of volunteer drivers to help test night visibility of signs along the stretch Tuesday night and tonight .
ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said the final portion of the freeway is expected to open in July, although a date has not been set.
The stretch extends between Power Road and University Drive.
Nintzel said drivers signed up for the testing through a community outreach program, so it’s not open to the public.
Drivers will evaluate the brightness of the sign material and the sheeting used for letters and numbers, Nintzel said.
This soon-to-be-completed freeway section still needs a top layer of rubberized asphalt.
Opening the $195 million segment will make a huge difference for drivers in the south East Valley, Nintzel said.
“It’s going to provide yet another route between the East Valley and the downtown Phoenix area,” Nintzel said.
“We already are hearing from commuters who predict it would save them about 10 to 20 minutes in their commute.”
Completing the link will mean drivers will be able to use another freeway if there is a closure on U.S. 60.