On Friday, July 19, 2019, Cosanti Foundation Board Member Steve Ostwinkle,
Cosanti Foundation Director of Development and Planning Scott Riley, Roger
Tomalty and Mary Hoadley toured the 202/South Mountain Freeway due to open
December 20, 2019. Thanks to the efforts of Joe Salazar of the ADOT Aesthetics
Office, the 22 miles from the I-10 at Ahwatukee to the I 10 at 59 th Avenue are
embellished with designs inspired by Wright and Soleri.
Roger developed the yellow Riverbank designs from an early Soleri ceramics carving and the green Leaf/Portal designs from the Arcosanti Vaults in 2014, which appear on barriers, sound walls, bridge abutments, columns and land form graphics. Victor Sidy, former Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, (who chose to become an architect after a trip to Arcosanti) and Monique de Los Rios, Arcosanti Alumna, representing Maricopa Association of Governments, were also on the design team. The trip was a treat and chance to see the significant progress since our last visit in December 2017.
The Ocatillo Settlement pattern starting at I-10 south features horizontals that carry through the whole 22 miles unifying the experience of travel while the 5 character areas emphasize historical and geographical differences, culminating in the dramatic urban/mountain link at 59 th Avenue. Two epic road cuts through South Mountain, accomplished with great respect for the natural and cultural heritage, and the half mile long Salt River Bridge add to the stunning and spectacular roadway that was bonded first in 1985 and includes 13 interchanges, 11 miles of sound walls, 360,000 cubic yards of concrete, 40 million pounds of rebar, and 990,000 tons of asphalt! This new segment is expected to divert 30% of traffic from central Phoenix, easing congestion and saving travel time while affording beautiful views of the Sonoran desert.
Seeing the implementation of design concept work done 5 years ago is incredible. The Public/Private partnership, Connect 202, that is accomplishing the completion of this $1.7 billion project, is remarkable for the cost savings developed by subtle changes to the designs to promote buildability. The 30 year maintenance requirement for the build out has incentivized great craftsmanship and durability.
Many thanks to Carmello Aceveda, Joe Salazar, Leroy Brady, Yuri Robles, Travis Legare and Robby Richards of ADOT, Anne DeBoard of Kimley Horne and Victor Sidy from Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the thousands working on the ground for making this trip and the whole project such a success!
Text and Photos by Mary Hoadley