Meeting opens the way to possible freeway alternative - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Meeting opens the way to possible freeway alternative

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:00 am

There may be a glimmer of hope to Councilman Sal DiCiccio’s attempts to find an alternative route for the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway.

Last week officials from the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), city of Phoenix, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), congressional offices and others met to discuss the possibility of a proposal that would put the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway south of Pecos Road.

One participant, Eric Anderson from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), called it a “good initial discussion.”

And in a letter sent to participants, Congressman Harry Mitchell said he was excited at the prospect of “substantial cost savings to taxpayers” if the freeway was diverted away from South Mountain.

Now, the ball is in the GRIC’s court.

“We need some guidance from the Gila River Indian Community on how to move forward,” Anderson said.

The problem is that twice the tribal council has passed resolutions opposing a freeway on tribal land, so it would be presumptive for ADOT to ask the tribe for permission to study alternatives.

“What part of no didn’t they understand,” was how one participant, who asked for anonymity, put it.

But after the Dec. 7 meeting, it appears that the tribe may be willing to entertain a proposal for an alternative route south of Pecos Road.

“It was encouraging on our part,” said Robbie Sherwood, Mitchell's district director in Arizona, although no details have been worked out and no agreement on any alternative has been reached.

“What we are waiting for is the tribal council to ask MAG and ADOT to come down and do a study,” Sherwood said.

There are no guarantees that anything will come from last week’s discussions, but the process will continue to move forward if the tribe writes to ADOT and gives permission for a study of possible routes. That could open the way for a formal proposal, which the tribe would probably put to a vote of its members.

Because no study of a route has been conducted on tribal land, it is unknown what the costs of an alternative would be. But one participant said that by not cutting through the ridges in South Mountain, as much as $250 million could be saved.

An alternative route could also add costs, especially if land swaps with the tribe involving federal land, or major changes to 51st Avenue that runs through a tribal community, are factored in.

But any net cost savings would be important because the cost of the Loop 202 has jumped from $1 billion to almost $2.4 billion. MAG, which has an estimated $6 billion shortfall in freeway construction funds, has recommended a scaled-down version of the freeway, from 10 lanes to eight lanes, to save money and bring the cost down to $1.9 billion.

Anderson said the possibility of an alternative to the old 1985 Pecos Road alignment won’t stop the current draft Environmental Impact Statement. But he did say that even if the EIS is approved and construction were to begin, changes could always be made if the Gila River Indian Community were to consider and approve a route that moves the freeway south.

He said that ADOT could even start construction in the west to give the tribe more time to consider an alternative route.

“This opens the door to looking at what a real alternative would cost and look like,” Sherwood said.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Indian Country’s Olympics: Register Now For the Lori Piestewa Games!

Cary RosenbaumIndian country’s own Olympic games had 3,000 athletes last year and wants more. The Lori Piestewa National Native American games…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 6:48 pm @ http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/06/…

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, June 24, 2016

Share this content: Email Print 1. Britain has voted to leave the European Union, a stunning decision that will create regulatory uncertainty …

Published: June 25, 2016 - 6:47 pm @ http://www.mmm-online.com/legalregulatory/five-thi…

Meet Scarlet, My New AI Assistant

A few years ago, I had a fancy executive job as a cog in the wheel of Corporate America. It came with an office (and a very nice view) on the …

Published: June 25, 2016 - 6:14 pm @ http://www.pcmag.com/news/345526/meet-scarlet-my-n…

Top Food Jobs, Week of June 20

It’s time again for our weekly sustainable food jobs series in partnership with our sister site: Green Job Post. Every week, we share some sel…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 6:00 pm @ http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2016/06/24/top-food-jobs…

Delta flight diverted, escorted to Tucson airport by F-16s due to unruly passenger

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Delta flight headed to Los Angeles from San Antonio was diverted to Tucson Wednesday due to an unruly passeng…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 6:00 pm @ http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/32286773/f-16-e…

Five Immigration Actions Obama Should Take Before Leaving Office

font size decrease font size increase font size Print Comprehensive immigration reform has failed. Millions of immigrants have been deported. …

Published: June 25, 2016 - 5:59 pm @ http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/36551-five-i…

Steven Spielberg takes us on a guided tour of his favorite studio backlot

Steven Spielberg is gonna need a boat. Not a bigger boat. Same-sized boat, preferably. Actually, the closer they can replicate the Orca fishin…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 5:44 pm @ http://www.ew.com/article/2016/06/24/steven-spielb…

Bundy-Backing Militia Leader Allegedly Tried To Blow Up BLM Building In Arizona

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Utah, William Keebler, 57, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with a…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 5:30 pm @ http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/william-keeb…

Does the Brexit vote mean Trump will win in November?

Shocked at the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union, American political observers can't help but wonder: Will this help Donal…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 5:16 pm @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpoli…

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

< Back Cream Birkenstock Cream Birkenstock £59.99 With Free Delivery&Free Returns* AND ENTER POSTCODE OR TOWN:       Standard Delivery …

Published: June 25, 2016 - 5:16 pm @ http://www.soletrader.co.uk/birkenstock-arizona-sa…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…