to freeway routes a mixed bag
was shock, frustration and relief among West Valley residents Tuesday as they
leaned over giant maps at the Estrella Vista Reception Center and saw where
their homes sit in relation to the proposed South Mountain Freeway.
Each western alignment would claim some homes and businesses. Tuesday's meeting was the first chance many residents had to view aerial photographs showing the freeway's potential footprint.
The issue is a highly charged one for the business community. Two employees of Western Container Corp. were at the meeting to gather information for co-workers. Joining the freeway at Loop 101 could take their plant, possibly resulting in a loss of employees who don't want to move.
"We definitely don't want the alignment," Human Resources Administrator Allison Zimmerman said.
Many residents were more peeved by the prospect of living next to a freeway than losing their home to one.
One alignment would run an elevated section of the freeway right past the house Cherrie Underwood, 45, moved into in April.
"One of the reasons we bought this house was this beautiful view of the (Sierra Estrella) mountains," she said. "This is even more frustrating. I'd rather they buy us out."
ADOT plans to recommend a West Valley alignment by fall 2006. Some residents are looking forward to moving ahead with the freeway, which has been on the books since 1985. "I told them, write me a check and they can have the house today," said Dave Lewis, whose home on the Phoenix-Tolleson line sits in one of the alignments.