Historic farming community may alter route of South Mountain
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 29, 2005 05:00 PM
of three potential alignments for the western leg of the proposed South Mountain
Freeway might have to be altered to spare a historic Hispanic farming community.
Santa Maria, an 88-acre unincorporated community located east of 67th Avenue and
South of Lower Buckeye Road, is considered a "living example of a historic
Hispanic rural community," transportation engineer Chris Clary-Lemon told
the South Mountain Citizens Advisory Team at their meeting Thursday night.
As currently mapped by the Arizona Department of Transportation, the proposed
link would connect the South Mountain Freeway to Interstate 10 at 71st Avenue in
west Phoenix. The alignment would clip the northwest corner of the community,
impacting about 20 of the 130 homes there.
The community may be eligible for historic protection, which means that ADOT
must make an effort to avoid it or minimize impact on the community.
Realigning the freeway is tricky, as Santa Maria Middle School is situated
catty-corner from Santa Maria on Lower Buckeye Road.
Advisory team members working in groups sketched out four alternatives to the
alignment on oversized maps, which Clary-Lemon said his consulting group would
review and discuss at the next meeting.
In jest, Michael Goodman of the Phoenix Mountains Preservation Council drew an
alternative that would run the freeway directly through the Wal-Mart Supercenter
on 75th Avenue, a proposal that drew playful protest from fellow group members.
The 71st Avenue option is one of three alignments that ADOT has suggested to
connect the South Mountain Freeway to the I-10 in the west. The other two would
link the freeways at 55th Avenue and Loop 101.