board votes down Ahwatukee freeway expansion
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 24, 2006 09:11 PM
The Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning
Committee voted Monday night against allowing the proposed South Mountain
Freeway to come down Pecos Road.
The committee, an advisory panel that reports to the Phoenix City Council, is
the latest organization to take a position on the project as the region inches
closer to a decision on if and where the freeway will be built.
Opposition to the freeway is widespread in Ahwatukee, where it could claim
hundreds of homes and lasso in a community that prizes its mountain views and
"I can see no redeeming value (in the
freeway) for Ahwatukee," committee member Max Masel said.
The unanimous vote came less than a week after the mayors of Chandler, Mesa and
Gilbert issued a statement in favor of building the freeway's eastern leg along
Their position irked some Ahwatukee residents.
"Who designated them as regional transportation planners?" William
Ramsay said, calling the mayors' statement "unequivocally the shallowest
and most sophomoric thing I've ever read."
First proposed in 1985, the 22- to 26-mile South Mountain Freeway would hook up
to Interstate 10 in the West Valley and south of Ahwatukee, bypassing downtown
Phoenix. It could cost up to $2.4 billion.
In June, the Arizona Department of Transportation will decide whether the
western leg of the freeway will link to I-10 at 55th Avenue, 71st Avenue or Loop
ADOT wants to make a final decision on the freeway in late 2007 and finish
construction in 2015.