The first mile of the Gateway Freeway in Mesa is open and connected to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway near Power Road, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.
Crews completed the $73 million project and the new segment of State Route 24 and it was opened to traffic early Sunday evening, ADOT said.
ADOT said drivers can now use the freeway-to-freeway interchange with elevated ramps to connect between Loop 202 and the one-mile stretch of SR 24 to travel to and from Ellsworth Road in the region around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Construction began in March 2012.
Mesa accelerated the construction work by several years through a transportation-bonding program.
Future plans call for State Route 24 to be extended east into Pinal County, where it would connect with a planned North-South freeway between Interstate 10 and US 60, ADOT said.