For years we have been hearing about the “202 interchange” being built. “No build is not an option,” says the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the freeway is a must.
“Save our sacred mountain,” screams the Gila River Indian Community as the ground under the casino, racetrack and storage facility retain just dirt status.
“I can guarantee it isn’t going to happen” writes the National Environmental Policy Act.
The indecision from every side has left everyone with widespread shoulder slumps of helplessness. Fine for them, but it is the families of the nicknamed “the bump” area that are the ones really suffering from the uncertainty.
It’s a ghost town over here in the bump; tumbleweeds are rolling in and out of our streets. You can’t sell our houses, the uncertainty has left them worthless. You can’t invest in our homes, I am certain that if and when ADOT does build the freeway as promised, they won’t compensate the homeowners for that pool or a more efficient heat pump.
We can’t refinance our home loans when comps are just empty foreclosures. We can’t even rent these homes, because owners will miss out on relocation benefits when the time comes. In short, our families cannot grow because we can’t leave; we are stuck.
And here we are again, waiting for Environmental Impact Study number who knows.
A study that will certainly not include the impact this process is having on our families.
A study that will become another community meeting filled with pretty-colored posters of lines, dates and alternatives.
A study that won’t provide the people living in the bumps along the planned route a final decision.
A decision we have needed for so long; one that will allow us the freedom to either participate in the vibrant real estate market, modernize our homes, or be fairly compensated by ADOT and allowed to move on.
A fair decision is needed immediately; families of the bump cannot wait and wait and wait any longer!
“I don’t know what else I can do at this point” says Councilman Sal DiCiccio.
Neither do the people living in the bump Sir, and that is a problem.