studies favor S. Mtn Freeway link at 101
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 5, 2006 12:00 AM
it might cause the least disruption to property and business owners to connect
the proposed South Mountain Freeway to Interstate 10 at 55th Avenue, new ADOT
traffic studies instead support a connection at Loop 101.
That would make traffic flow smoothest in morning and evening rush hours,
according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The proposed freeway would join I-10 in the Southwest Valley and with I-10 just
south of Ahwatukee Foothills in the Southeast Valley. ADOT is studying three
connecting points: 55th Avenue, Loop 101 or 71st Avenue.
"Each one has its own bugaboos," ADOT
spokesman Matt Burdick said.
Looking at traffic flow, Loop 101 ranked No. 1 in four categories.
How long it would take a motorist to drive 15 miles on I-10 from Litchfield Road
to Interstate 17 both directions and five miles on Loop 101 from I-10 to
Glendale Avenue in 2030, at morning and afternoon rush hours, were examined.
The drives would take 45 minutes if the South Mountain Freeway joined I-10 at
Loop 101, 52 minutes if it was joined at 71st Avenue and 55 minutes if it
connected at 55th Avenue.
The connection at Loop 101, or the Agua Fria Freeway, would be the most
expensive of the three. The 71st Avenue connection would cause the most homes to
The Avondale City Council last month passed a resolution supporting the 55th
Avenue connection, which would effect the fewest homes.
City leaders fear that the freeway would wipe out Avondale's major sales-tax
generators, including Gateway Pavillions and the future Gateway Crossing.
Councilman Jason Earp said the Loop 101 option "kills everything" on
The South Mountain Citizens Advisory Team, a group helping ADOT with planning,
is scheduled to issue its recommendation on a west-side connection at its April
27 meeting. ADOT will make its recommendation in May or June.
The department won't decide whether to build the freeway until 2007.
Studies indicate that the freeway not only would help relieve, but not prevent,
traffic congestion and travel times, but is also needed to link what have become
the two fastest-growing areas in the Phoenix area: the Southwest and Southeast.