Momentum grows for alternative Loop 202 route - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

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

Momentum grows for alternative Loop 202 route

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:00 am

Both Gov. Jan Brewer and House Majority Leader John McComish have sent letters supporting efforts to explore moving the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway away from Pecos Road.

“You have the two most powerful people in state government saying they want to make this work,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “This is a momentum builder that I’ve never seen before.”

In her letter to Gila River Indian Community Gov. William Rhodes, Brewer pledges, “The full engagement of the Arizona Department of Transportation in working with you to consider the opportunities that may exist…”

And McComish, who wrote to ADOT director John Halikowski, said that “The potential delay in completing the Loop 202, in my opinion, is more than offset by avoiding the destruction of a portion of South Mountain Park and serious disruption to Ahwatukee homes and neighborhoods.”

“I think it’s a win-win,” said Jim Jochim, an opponent of the freeway on Pecos Road and a member of Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children, which plans to bring litigation if the freeway is approved on Pecos Road, near local schools.

Until recently, Pecos Road was considered the only possible route for the $1.9 billion freeway, connecting Interstate 10 in Ahwatukee Foothills, traveling west and cutting through several ridges in South Mountain Park, then turning north to reconnect with I-10 in the West Valley, near 59th Avenue.

But at a private meeting Dec. 7 officials from the tribe, congressional offices, ADOT, the city of Phoenix and the Maricopa Association of Governments ended with tribal representatives open to the idea of a proposal to move the freeway south.

And while costs of moving the freeway south are unclear, since no study has been done on the tribal land, it is assumed that not cutting into the South Mountain ridges would save $250 million.

“This is a great Christmas present for everyone, including the taxpayers,” DiCiccio said.

An assumption over the past decade was that the Gila River Indian Community wouldn’t consider an alternative route for the Loop 202, which was penciled in along Pecos Road in 1985.

And the tribal council has twice passed resolutions opposing a freeway on Indian land.

But, until recently, no one had ever attempted to present a proposal for the tribe to consider.

DiCiccio created a citizens’ group several months ago to lobby for a comprehensive proposal he has been working on, which could include:

• A land swap of federal wilderness in the Estrella Mountains, which the Gila River Indian Community considers sacred.

• Address the large amounts of truck traffic that used 51st Avenue, a county road, to travel through the Indian community of Komatke, which local residents consider a hazard for children.

• A land exchange where the tribe would get some privately-owned parcels within the tribe’s reservation.

While players in the unfolding drama were optimistic, the Indian community is divided on the pros and cons of allowing a freeway on tribal land and it is unclear if a ballot initiative asking tribal members to allow a freeway would pass.

The next step would be for the Gila River Indian Community to formally ask ADOT to make a proposal, which could happen in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, ADOT officials were continuing to finish a draft Environmental Impact Statement, which shows Pecos Road as the only alternative route for the stern leg of the freeway. That report was expected to be approved by federal officials and released to the public this summer. It’s unclear how much of the EIS will need to be rewritten, or how long it will take, if the tribe does entertain a proposal.

“As long as there is dialogue and open communication, that’s good,” Jochim said.

 

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Kerry’s Blunt Words for Israel Denounced by Lawmakers in Both Parties

A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemni…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/politics/john…

Gov. Brown Appoints New Public Utility Commissioners to Replace Florio and Sandoval

Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen both come from the governor’s office with strong environmental protection backgrounds. Martha …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/gov.-…

Obama preparing to penalize Russia for hacking

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to penalize Russia over the hacking of Democratic officials during this year's presidential…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:16 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/1…

Presidential vote in congressional districts points to Democratic risks in 2018

Democrats started the 2016 election cycle with pessimism about their chances of taking back the House of Representatives. For a few moments th…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:13 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/…

Mail truck tips on Mesa street

MESA, Ariz. - A mail truck ended up on its side in a crash Wednesday. Mesa police say a single-vehicle collision left the United States Postal…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:12 am @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/mail-truck…

Reports of mall disturbances light up social media

A flurry of reports of mall melees and disturbances rippled across social media Monday on a day Americans swarmed shopping hubs for post-holid…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:51 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/…

Star New Brunswick cyclist Ellen Watters dies from crash injuries

Ellen Watters, a Canadian competitive cyclist critically injured in a collision with a car while on a training ride in Sussex, N.B., Dec. 23, …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:14 am @ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/ellen-…

Graham, McCain want Russia sanctions after election hacking

Top Republican senators said Wednesday that the incoming Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should impose new and tougher sanctions on …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:13 am @ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/28/graham-…

Immigration Is the Only Hope for States That Helped Trump

The decline of manufacturing does not explain the decline of Wisconsin. Photographer: Daniel Acker/BloombergFacebook Twitter Email Print Share…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:36 am @ https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-28…

Creator of the Red Solo Cup dies at 84

FOX 32 NEWS - The creator of the Red Solo Cup died on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the age of 84. Robert Leo Hulseman lived in Northfield, …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:07 am @ http://www.fox4news.com/trending/225996868-story

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…