Public hearing held in Phoenix for South Mountain freeway extension

May 20, 2013

Valley residents can voice their opinion on the longest running debate over a proposed freeway plan in Arizona. A public hearing is scheduled for the South Mountain Freeway extension on Tuesday. An environmental study is part of the discussion.

The South Mountain Extension was first proposed in 1985. Since then there have been many twist and turns on the plan.

The hearing will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center. The Arizona Department of Transportation will host the all day event. It is aimed at gathering public comments on the freeways Environmental Impact Statement. The extension is part of a Loop 202 and 101 freeway system that connects the east and west valleys.

ADOT’s Timothy Tait said the agency will also host smaller community forums over the next several weeks.

"The public hearing is the real primary focus because it gives people an opportunity to review element of the document, talk with technical experts and then provide their comments," Tait said.

 Opponents of plan include the Gila River Indian Community. They say part of their land at the west-end of the proposed route threatens their community and the environment.

ADOT said construction could begin as early as 2015, depending on the plan's final approval.

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