Group offers to build South Mountain Freeway with private money

Arizona took a first step Thursday toward using private financing to build highways.

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced a proposal from a consortium of some of the nation’s largest highway construction companies to build the controversial South Mountain Freeway from Chandler to Laveen using private dollars, but not tolls.

The unsolicited proposal is the first under a reworked 2009 law allowing the state to team up with private investors to build or manage projects.

The consortium is composed of Kiewit Development Co., Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Sundt Construction Inc. and Parsons Corp. Nebraska-based Kiewit is the nation’s third-largest contractor, according to trade publication Engineering News Record. Parsons, of California, ranks 48th and Sundt, based in Tempe, 64th.