A brand new freeway for the Phoenix area is in the works. Houston-based Sterling Construction Co. announced that it was the apparent low bidder on the $71-million State Route 24 in Mesa, Ariz. This new one-mile stretch of highway will connect S.R. 202 to Ellsworth Road and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, a key economic growth area in the Southeast Valley. The new roadway also skirts the massive redevelopment of the former General Motors Proving Ground, the site of First Solar's new $300-million manufacturing plant. Proving Ground developers are also planning on starting construction of 800 homes later this year, according to recent news reports.  

Sterling subsidiary Ralph L. Wadsworth of Salt Lake City, Utah will construct the Arizona Dept. of Transportation project along with Phoenix-based J. Banicki Construction Co., which was purchased by RLW in August 2011. Construction will include freeway-to-freeway ramps connecting S.R. 24 to S.R. 202 from Power to Elliot roads, approximately one mile of flyover box beam bridgework and one million cubic yards of imported fill. Scheduled to begin in March, the project is expected to be complete in 18 months.

“This project represents a significant addition to backlog in Arizona for both RLW and Banicki,” says Patrick T. Manning, Sterling’s chairman and CEO in a statement. RLW will specialize in bridge construction components of the project, while Banicki will focus on the underground and earthwork, he adds.

In an effort to expand into the Arizona market, Sterling/RLW purchased Banicki, a heavy civil contractor founded in 1990, for $8 million plus a five-year earn-out that begins once Banicki achieves $2 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization annually.

Future phases of S.R. 24 are on hold, pending the outcome of ADOT's North-South Corridor Study to evaluate potential connections between U.S. 60 near Apache Junction, Ariz. and Interstate 10 near Eloy, Ariz.

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ADOT's recommended alignment of S.R. 24 (referred to on this map under its former name, S.R. 802)