Residents concerned over new South Mountain Freeway interchange's impact on their neighborhood

- Some neighbors living near the new South Mountain Freeway say ADOT is pulling a fast one on them by changing a freeway interchange at the last minute.

The new off and on ramps would be close to the Vee Quiva Casino, and it's not on the original plans. It's a really quiet rural neighborhood and many living near the casino want to keep it that way, but they feel like it will be impossible if the interchange project continues.

"When we looked at the plans, there's no protection for our community," said Mike Freer, who has lived in his home near the Vee Quiva Casino for about 10 years. Freer likes it because it's quiet, but he says a proposed interchange for the Loop 202 project puts all of that at risk

"At the end of every street, if you want to turn around, you have to make a three-point turn, and they're talking about dropping 2,000 cars a day into our residential community," said Freer. "It's just not designed to have any traffic back here."

Freer has started a group called "Save the Dusty Lane Community". ADOT officials say the interchange is still in proposal form.

"There is some regional benefit to providing an interchange at this location," said Dustin Krugel with ADOT. "For instance, it would help improve emergency response for firefighters and police. It would provide direct access for the Vee Quiva Casino."

It is more casino traffic, however, that has Freer the most worried.

"We're worried about crime," said Freer. "We're concerned that the problems the casino has will come into our neighborhood."

We understand that there's some opposition to adding the traffic interchange, but we are committed to following the Federal process and studying the interchange," said Krugel.

That meeting is taking place Wednesday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 5001 W. Dobbins Road in Laveen.

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