|Ahwatukee Foothills News, 11/01/2002|
Progress slow in identifying S. Mountain freeway routes
|By Doug Murphy Staff Writer
Little progress has been made on identifying possible routes for the South Mountain Loop 202 freeway in the Ahwatukee Foothills area. That's according to John Godec who presented an update to the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee on Monday. He's hoping that a set of possible routes, including on Gila River Indian Community land, could be ready to present to the public by February 2003.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is looking for alternative routes for Loop 202 because the original route, drawn in 1988, follows what is now Pecos Road. ADOT wants the South Mountain Loop 202 to connect Interstate 10 and the San Tan Freeway at Pecos Road in Ahwatukee Foothills with I-10 between 45th and 109th avenues, providing a southwest route bypassing downtown Phoenix. Development in the last dozen years along Pecos Road, including churches, schools and homes, have encroached into what was originally planned as the freeway's right-of-way resulting in the current environmental impact study to determine the best route.
Key to building the Loop 202 off Pecos Road is the cooperation of the Gila River Indian Community. Unless the freeway can be built south, on Indian land, Pecos Road is the only open area where a freeway could be built.
Gila River Indian Community spokesman Gary Bohnee did not return telephone calls seeking comment by deadline Thursday. Godec is a partner in the Phoenix communications firm of Godec Randall & Associates which is managing the public hearings during the three-year environmental impact study to find a route for the freeway.
Godec said that if a route can be found, construction probably wouldn't begin for five years and take 20 years to complete.