South Mountain Freeway expansion: offers made, homes to come down

It's been on the drawing board for over two decades, and it seemed like it would never happen.

But the saga of the South Mountain Freeway now is taking a turn in the direction of construction, leaving hundreds of homeowners in its path.

What to do if you're in the way, or close by?

There's a sign located at Pecos and 24th Street that says, the South Mountain Freeway is in the future.

It looks more and more like the future is now.

The Arizona Department of Transportation hopes to get construction underway and be done by 2020 to ease the burden on Interstate 10 with a bypass around South Mountain, re-connecting with I-10 at 51st Avenue.

But that means some 200 homes along Pecos Road will have to go, and churches, businesses, and more.

ADOT has already bought up some houses it plans to demolish and has promised to pay a fair market price.

"It is always difficult to purchase somebody's home, but it is fair, homeowners take comfort that they are getting a good deal from the state," said Tim Tait with ADOT.

But real estate pros say if the state is going to knock down your home, it is a good idea to get a second appraisal.

"Well it will give you your own opinion too, plenty of appraisers are in Ahwatukee and know the area very well. I would recommend one of those people to give you your own value," said Mike Mendoza.

But what if you're across the street from the homes that will be knocked down? That means you'll be looking at a giant sound-blocking wall, that's all.

"You know there are people that want to live near a freeway, there are people that don't, it is like anything else," said Mendoza.

Some realtors have facts for homeowners from realtors in the area. They include the fact that ADOT will pay your moving expenses, and ADOT will pay most of your closing costs for your new home.

It's good info, so consulting a realtor is a good idea.
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