citizens group studying whether the South Mountain (202) Freeway should be
constructed through Ahwatukee Foothills had been expected to offer its
opinion this month but now won't decide until fall, an Arizona Department
of Transportation official said.
The South Mountain Citizen
Advisory Team has been delayed by ongoing research on the project's
possible impact on the area, ADOT spokesman Matt Burdick said.
is still gathering information on the impact of the freeway's construction
on traffic, the environment, cultural and historic sites, Burdick said.
the team's fall decision will only focus on the alignment alternatives in
the portions that connect to the West Valley, not Pecos Road in
"Part of the reason why we are not going to identify a
preferred alternative in the Ahwatukee area is to allow for additional
time and work in the Gila River Indian Community to identify if there are
alternatives to be considered," Burdick said.
Routing the freeway
to the south through the reservation is one alternative being
The team, whose members represent interests ranging from
environmentalists to housing associations, was convened by ADOT. It was
formed to give the public input into the process of building the
The recommendation the team will give will be a part of
the draft environmental impact statement that will be submitted to the
None of the team's decisions is binding for
The group will meet tonight to discuss new traffic
projections as well as explore the consequences of building along 51st
Avenue near South Mountain Park/Preserve. Several acres of the park could
be affected if construction is along that alignment.
will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Komatke Center, on the northwestern corner of
51st Avenue and St. Johns Road, north of Pecos Road.