rejects 97th Ave. alignment
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 22, 2006 12:00 AM
Litchfield Park is backing Tolleson and Avondale
in their fight against the 97th Avenue connection for the South Mountain
"The further east we can get it, the better off we are," Mayor Woody
The city joins in signing its own resolution supporting the 55th Avenue
alignment through Phoenix.
The Arizona Department of Transportation wants to
complete Loop 202, linking Interstate 10 in the West Valley to Interstate 10
The three options to connect the South Mountain Freeway to the West Valley are
55th, 71st and 97th avenues.
Southwest Valley leaders are opposed to the 97th Avenue connection because of
the negative impact it would have on their cities.
Tolleson, which would suffer the greatest economic loss, signed a resolution
supporting the 55th Avenue alignment in December. If the freeway came through
the 6-square-mile city, Tolleson could lose up to 370 acres. Fourteen lanes of
traffic would be installed in the Van Buren Street area, affecting the new
Tolleson Union District High School administrative offices being built at 95th
Avenue and Van Buren Street.
Tolleson City Manager Reyes Medrano Jr. appreciates Litchfield Park's efforts.
"We are ecstatic over the support that we received from our brethren from
the Southwest Valley," he said.
Avondale signed its own resolution last month. The city depends largely on the
revenue from the Avondale Auto Mall and the Gateway Pavilions shopping center at
Loop 101 and 99th Avenue. A connection to 97th Avenue could hinder business.
Litchfield Park would not be gravely affected by the connection but Mayor Thomas
said he doesn't want the West Valley bombarded with freeway systems, with the
I-10 Reliever anticipated for construction in 2021.
ADOT will make its recommendation in May or June. The department will release
its final decision next year.