Group aims to stop Loop 202 expansion in Ahwatukee

The loop 202 freeway is supposed to be built where Pecos road is now, from I-10 all the way around the western edge of South Mountain, rejoining I-10 in West Phoenix.
Opponentsin court today are people who live in Ahwatukee and also members of the Gila River Indian community. They argue the Arizona Department of transportation knew exactly where it wanted to put the freeway years ago and all of its analyses and studies in public hearings were all done with a predetermined outcome in mind to build the freeway along the southern fringe of Ahwatukee. 
They say the freeway will be bad for the environment.
"I understand there are semis that will be on the road, mostly semis, there are extreme pollution concerns that it will destroy and compromise the wells that feed our community," said Barbara Albrecht of Ahwatukee.
Attorneys representing the Gila River Indian Community told the judge the tribe considers South Mountain sacred ground and building a freeway around its western edge would be in conflict with its traditions.
ADOT countered it has done exhaustive planning for years, involving the public at every stage, paying careful attention to the environment.
An attorney for ADOT said it couldn't consider an alternate route using Riggs Road because the Gila River Community wouldn't allow the project to be built on tribal land.
The judge heard arguments but did not issue a ruling Wednesday.

ADOT is planning to start construction this summer.


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