by Doug Murphy Staff Writer
Ahwatukee Foothills News, 4-23-04
The agency that first approved Pecos Road as the route for the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway years ago is preparing to publish a revised highway corridor map with possible routes on the Gila River Indian Community.
"It sends a message to voters that a decision hasn't been made," on exactly where the freeway will be built, Councilman Greg Stanton said.
In 1988, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) proposed that the freeway be built where Pecos Road now lies. A lack of money prevented that stretch of freeway from being constructed.
Wednesday night MAG's Transportation Policy Committee was presented with a map that shows a wide swatch where the Loop 202 route could go, only one of which is on Pecos Road.
The map is to be included in the ballot publicity pamphlet explaining Proposition 400, which asks voters to extend the current half-cent sales tax in Maricopa County for another 20 years to fund transportation projects.
The sales tax would raise $17.1 billion, which includes $1.1 billion for the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway stretching west from Interstate 10 in Ahwatukee Foothills to I-10 in the West Valley.
If voters approve the proposition on Nov. 2, 59 percent of the money would go to freeway construction, 32 percent for mass transit, light rail and buses and 9 percent would go to surface street improvements.
Two years ago the Arizona Department of Transportation began an Environmental Impact Study to determine what the best route for the freeway would be, taking into account the rapid growth in Ahwatukee Foothills since the 1988 route was first selected.
That study is looking at three possible routes on the Gila River Indian Community land as well as three possible routes in the Laveen area.
The reporter can be reached at (480) 898-7914 or by e-mail at email@example.com.