Some homeowners oppose Loop 202 expansion

Just one day after the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway extension project is approved, some homeowners in the project's path are threatening a lawsuit. 3/11/15
Just one day after the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway extension project is approved, some homeowners in the project's path are threatening a lawsuit.

There are about 400 properties that will be demolished to make way for the 22 miles of new freeway.

Now that the project has federal approval, the Arizona Department of Transportation can start buying up those homes.

Some homeowners say they're ready to move, others are not ready to pack up and leave.

That includes residents living in Ahwatukee near Pecos Road.

One new family moved into their home eight months ago, and they don't want to go.

"I don't want to move because I haven't enjoyed my new house, because after shifting to that house we're blessed with a baby girl, it's all over emotions, before that it's all over plans, it's our future," said Sri M.

Now her future and those of 200 other families are up in the air.

ADOT is expected to buy the homes it plans to tear down at fair market value.

Some home owners have hired attorneys to negotiate the final number.

"For some this is a sense of relief because they've had this sword hanging over them, not knowing what is going to happen, so many will be relieved that it has happened. Others will be disappointed because they hoped that there would be an alternative down on the reservation," said attorney Paul Gilbert.

Gilbert says some homeowners are planning to file a lawsuit to stop the construction. 

"There's a better route, a less expensive route, and that ADOT has not worked enough with the homeowners," he said.

Aside from losing their homes he says some families will suffer intangible pain.

"How do you compensate someone whose children have to go to a different school, how do you compensate someone who has to buy a new home," said Gilbert.

ADOT says they are prepared to defend themselves against any impending lawsuits.

Some residents are questioning why ADOT did not build on land south of Pecos Road. That land is part of the Gila River Indian Reservation, and ADOT says the tribe rejected any freeways being built.

Construction could begin in 2016.

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