J.D. Hayworth, who represents the Ahwatukee-Foothills area, has come out
publicly against the Pecos Road alignment of the South Mountain Freeway,
saying the road would cost too many homes for too little benefit.
The congressman's announcement comes a day before a community meeting that is
expected to draw up to 1,000 Ahwatukee Foothills residents, some of whom will
likely have passionate views about the proposed $1 billion freeway.
In a letter this week to Arizona Department of Transportation director Victor
Mendez, Hayworth said the possibility that ADOT could follow through on
20-year-old plans to route the southern leg of Loop 202 along Pecos Road has
"created a panic" in Ahwatukee.
"With the lack of
any alternative, I must urge you to support the 'No Build Option,'"
Hayworth wrote. "It seems clear to me that the negative effects of this
plan outweigh its positives . . . this is one project that simply is
unacceptable to the people I represent."
Placing the freeway along Pecos could claim up to 255 homes, according to ADOT
estimates. The only alternative would be moving the freeway south onto land
owned by the Gila River Indian Community. The Gila community has not consented
to a study of the freeway on their land.
On Thursday, the department will present an all-day open house in Ahwatukee to
unveil the proposed routes and answer questions on the freeway. It is expected
to be the best-attended and most contentious of the three such meetings held
this week, ADOT spokesman Matt Burdick said. Other open houses were held in
Avondale and Laveen.
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