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Arizona Loop 303

Arizona Loop 303 is the outer loop of the west side of Phoenix. The road begins at Interstate 10 in the far west valley, then loops north to U.S. Highway 60 at Surprise, then east to Interstate 17. The road is constructed as a two-lane highway between Interstate 10 and just south of US 60, four lane expressway from south of US 60 to Happy Valley Road, and as a four lane freeway from Happy Valley Road to Interstate 17. The road is unconstructed from Maricopa County route 85 to Interstate 10.

Loop 303 was added to the state highway system in 1985 as part of the 1985 Freeway plan, with a final corridor designation in 1988. The interim roadway (as a two-lane roadway) was completed in 1991 from Interstate 10 to U.S. 60.

In 1993, due to the funding shortfall, Loop 303 was slated for removal from the state highway system. Maricopa County went to ADOT, and offered to maintain and construct the roadway to preserve the route, as long as the road remained in the state highway system. From 1995 to 2006, MCDOT (Maricopa County Department of Transportation) maintained the roadway, and extended the completed section northeast to Happy Valley Parkway by 2004.

Following the passage of Proposition 400, ADOT resumed maintenance of the highway, and started work on the final link from Happy Valley Road to Interstate 17. Construction on the interim freeway began in 2009, and was completed in 2011. This freeway is constructed as a four lane freeway, with through lanes traveling along the future exit ramps.

Arizona Loop 303 north
Two views of the first northbound reassurance shield for Arizona Loop 303 just north of Interstate 10. Although it is not yet a freeway, Arizona Loop 303 has aspirations for expansion to freeway standards to meet the seemingly unstoppable growth as it pushes westward across the Valley of the Sun. Photos taken 05/23/03.
The first road junction on Loop 303 is Thomas Road. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Immediately after Thomas Road, this shield can be seen. Loop 303 features shields after every major intersection, per ADOT standards. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets Bethany Home Road here. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 is the Bob Stump Memorial Parkway. Passing is allowed on much of the road, but due to traffic volume, is impractical. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets Glendale Avenue here. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Use Olive Avenue to reach the White Tank Mountains Regional Park, operated by Maricopa County. Photo taken 03/25/07.

Arizona Loop 303 meets Olive Avenue here. Photo taken 03/25/07.
The next intersection is Peoria Avenue. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets Cactus Road here. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets Waddell Road here. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets Greenway Parkway. Photo taken 03/25/07.
After Greenway Parkway, Loop 303 enters the city of Surprise. Surprise is a rapidly growing city on the northwest corner of the valley, centered around U.S. Highway 60. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 remains named the Bob Stump Memorial Parkway through Surprise. Photo taken 03/25/07.
In preparation for the future freeway, Loop 303 has two grade separations constructed over the future freeway right of way. Photo taken 03/25/07.
Loop 303 meets U.S. Highway 60 here. The interchange is grade separated, but only one ramp connects the two roads (with a signal at both ends of the ramp). Photo taken 03/25/07.
Just north of US 60, Loop 303 becomes a divided highway. This section of roadway opened between 2003 and 2004. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 now turns east to travel along a series of powerlines. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Reassurance marker for Loop 303 northbound. This is the first marker in the current (black on white) style. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Turn right for El Mirage Road. This is slated to become a future interchange in the next round of improvements to Loop 303. Photo taken 10/10/11.
The afternoon light shows off the reflectivity of this sign, announcing Happy Valley Road. We are about to end the expressway section of Loop 303, and enter the interim freeway. Photo taken 10/10/11.
The next four exits serve Peoria (there are only four exits left on Loop 303). Photo taken 10/10/11.
Exit 125 departs for Happy Valley Parkway. North of this point, Loop 303 is an interim freeway, constructed between 2009 and 2011 and opened the week of May 9, 2011. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 travels through virgin desert north of Happy Valley Parkway. There is no development along the freeway at this time. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Advance signage for Lone Mountain Parkway, 1 1/2 miles. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 turns to follow the future exit ramp for exit 126, Jomax Parkway. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Advance signage for exit 127, Lone Mountain Parkway, 1/2 mile. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Lone Mountain Parkway exits here. The exit is closed, as the connecting road is not yet constructed. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Reassurance marker for Loop 303. In the background is the future exit for Westland Drive. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Advance signage for exit 131, Lake Pleasant Parkway, 1 1/2 miles. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 meets the future exit for 96th Avenue here. The exit is planned as an overpass, with an un-constructed bridge. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Advance signage for Lake Pleasant Parkway. There is a partially constructed auxiliary lane for Lake Pleasant Parkway here. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Exit 131 departs here for Lake Pleasant Parkway. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Reassurance marker for Loop 303, immediately after the exit for Lake Pleasant Parkway, and just before Loop 303 crosses the Central Arizona Project canal. Photo taken 10/10/11.
This is the bridge for Lake Pleasant Parkway, one of the few constructed exits along the interim freeway. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Reassurance marker for Loop 303. This is near the proposed connection between Arizona 74 and Loop 303. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 meets the future exit for 67th Avenue (Pyramid Peak Parkway) here. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Advance signage for Sonoran Desert Drive and Interstate 17, 2 1/2 miles. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 meets the future exit for 51st Avenue here. Photo taken 10/10/11.
The future exit for 43rd Avenue can be seen here. Photo taken 10/10/11.
All traffic takes the interim roadway, across the future exit ramp for 43rd avenue. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Traffic to I-17 northbound should take the left lane, and I-17 southbound should use the right lane. Photo taken 10/10/11.
Loop 303 ends at I-17. There is not a freeway to freeway interchange constructed at this time, and all traffic must stop at the frontage roads. Turn left for I-17 Northbound, or turn right for I-17 southbound. Photo taken 10/10/11.

Photo Credits:
  • 2003-05-23 by AARoads.
  • 2007-03-25 by Kevin Trinkle.
  • 2011-10-10 by Kevin Trinkle.

Connect with:
Interstate 10
U.S. Highway 60
Interstate 17

Page Updated 10-12-2011.

 
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