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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

South Mountain community forums provide opportunity to comment on proposed freeway

Scene from the May 21 formal public hearing.
Got an opinion on the proposed South Mountain Freeway, but couldn’t make it to last month’s daylong public hearing?

Don’t worry. There are still plenty of opportunities to give us your feedback, including a series of community forums that starts tonight.

While these forums are not formal public hearings and will not include presentations, they will allow you to view the study video, talk with technical experts about the draft environmental impact statement and provide comments to a court reporter. These community forums are a chance for you to learn more about the project and provide comments for the formal record.

The forums will be held
  • June 4, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Sunridge Elementary School – Cafetorium, 6244 W. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix.
  • June 18, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Foothills Golf Club – Saguaro Room, 2201 E. Clubhouse Drive in Phoenix.
  • June 22, 9 a.m. to noon at the Komatke Boys and Girls Club, 5047 W. Pecos Road on the Gila River Indian Community.
  • June 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Windmill Suites – Arizona Ballroom, 3535 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler.
  • July 9, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Laveen Education Center – Boardroom, 5001 W. Dobbins Road in Laveen.
  • July 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Avondale – Ballroom, 11460 W. Hilton Way in Avondale.

Other ways to comment
Comments are being accepted through July 24 and besides the forums, ADOT has other ways for you to give your input, including
  • providing input by email at projects@azdot.gov.
  • submitting online comments at azdot.gov/SouthMountainFreeway.
  • calling 602.712.7006.
  • by mail to the South Mountain Study Team, 1655 W. Jackson St. MD 126F, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

All comments and questions will be addressed as part of the final environmental impact statement, which is set for release in 2014. This final document will have a 60-day public review period. A record of decision from the Federal Highway Administration is expected in 2014.

More on the proposed project
The six-chapter draft environmental impact statement covers potential impacts from building or not building a freeway, coordination with the Gila River Indian Community, purpose and need for a new freeway, alternatives studied and public outreach efforts since the study was launched in 2001. 

May 21 formal public hearing.
The proposed South Mountain Freeway has been a critical part of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Freeway Program since it was first included in funding through Proposition 300 approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985. The freeway was also part of the Regional Transportation Plan funding passed by Maricopa County voters in 2004 through Proposition 400.

Funding for the South Mountain Freeway is already available in the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan; construction of the freeway, if approved, could begin as soon as 2015. The eight-lane freeway would run from I-10 in the West Valley along 59th Avenue, cut across the southwest corner of South Mountain Park, and connect with Pecos Road on the south side of Ahwatukee to connect with I-10 and the Loop 202 Santan Freeway. The 22- to 24-mile-long freeway has a $1.9 billion budget, allocated through voter-approved transportation funds as outlined in the Regional Transportation Plan.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  Public-Comment, South-Mountain-Freeway
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