1985, Maricopa County voters approved funding for the Maricopa
Association of Government's (MAG) Regional Freeway System
which included a South Mountain Freeway connecting Interstate
10 in the Southeast Valley with Interstate 10 in the West
Valley. The State Transportation Board approved an alignment
for the South Mountain Freeway in 1988, running east and
west along Pecos Road and then turning north to connect
with I-10 West near 55th Avenue.
in part to a funding shortfall, the Arizona Department of
Transportation (ADOT) was unable to develop 76 miles of
planned freeways, including the South Mountain Freeway.
The unfunded corridor, however, remained part of the planned
Regional Freeway System. In 1999, ADOT announced plans to
accelerate the completion the entire Regional Freeway System.
The accelerated plan included a portion of the South Mountain
2001, ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
began the updated study through an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) to determine if such a freeway is still
needed to meet the needs of the traveling public, where
it should be located, and what the environmental, social
and economic effects of such a roadway might be. The updated
EIS was required due to the many changes in the study area
since the original 1988 Environmental Assessment was completed.
funding shortfall for a South Mountain Freeway was alleviated
with the passage of Proposition 400 in November 2004. There
have not been any decisions related to the South Mountain
Freeway and the Pecos Road alignment. ADOT continues to
study the freeway, as proposed by the MAG. However, ADOT
has identified an alignment that would connect with Interstate
10 at 55th Avenue as the "Preliminary Preferred Build Alternative"
for this segment of Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway).
final decision on the alignment of the South Mountain Freeway
- including a decision on if the roadway will be constructed
- will be made at the conclusion of the environmental process,
which is examining the entire South Mountain Freeway corridor.
the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released to the
public, it will detail the options considered in the Southwest
Valley and describe the reasons why the 55th Avenue Alternative
was selected as the preliminary preferred option for the Western
Section. The draft report will also detail the Pecos Road
option being considered in the Eastern Section area of the
study. If other options become available to study, the process
will take those into account. The draft report also will discuss
the "No-Build Alternative" for the entire South
Mountain Freeway to examine the effects of not building the
freeway as proposed by MAG.
The draft report will be made available for at least 45
days for the public to review. During that comment period,
two public hearings will be held on the contents of the
Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
From there, the public will have another 30-day opportunity
to comment on the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
The comments received during both 45-day and 30-day comment
periods will be used by ADOT and Federal Highway Administration
in making a final decision regarding the project. That final
decision will be presented in the Record of Decision by
FHWA. ADOT will begin acquiring right-of-way after the final
decision is made.
As part of the final decision-making process, ADOT will
work with the MAG regarding the study recommendation and
the regional support to fund the project as part of the
Regional Transportation Plan approved by voters. Should
a build alternative be selected for the South Mountain Freeway,
the Regional Transportation Plan designates the construction
funding available in 2009–2015.
||Our Valley Freeway System is part of the 2004 voter-approved Regional Transportation Plan. We are working hard with our transit partners to implement the voters’ vision and are committed to quality, safety, open communication with our neighbors, and minimal inconvenience to the traveling public.