Now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has finally been released by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on the proposed South Mountain Freeway Loop 202 expansion, we can start doing a feasibility check on the proposed freeway.

Based on a review of the document the preferred alternative on the eastern side is labeled E1, or as we know it, Pecos Road. On the western side the preferred alternative is labeled W59, or at the intersection of Interstate 10 and 59th Avenue.

The distance between these two points is 22 miles and this number is important because to travel to the downtown area (Central Avenue) one needs to back-track and travel east on 1-10 for about 5 miles to reach the downtown corridor, or for a total distance of about 27 miles.

However, if one currently lives in the Ahwatukee Foothills area the distance from the intersection of Pecos Road and the I-10 to the downtown area (Central Avenue) is about 17 miles.

Therefore, who would want to drive an extra 10 miles, or 59 percent, to reach a downtown (Central Avenue) by using the proposed South Mountain Freeway Loop 202? Not me with the price of gas being what it is today!

Jim Jochim

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