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By: KJZZ News on 02/08/2012
Members of the Gila River Indian Community told the state last night they do not want an extension of the Loop 202 on reservation land -- and don’t want it anywhere else, either. The “no build” option received 720 votes out of more than 1,400 cast.
KJZZ’s Mark Brodie and Terry Ward spoke Wednesday about the vote and what it means for the Loop 202 project.
Transportation officials say they'll continue moving ahead with plans for extending the Loop 202 despite the vote.
Tuesday's vote by the GRIC is non-binding on the state, but will be considered as part of an environmental impact statement on the Pecos Road alignment. Eric Anderson, Transportation Director for the Maricopa Association of Governments, says work on that draft report has continued, and should be ready for public comment later this year.
"If somebody could come up with an alternative way of handling the kind of traffic that we’re seeing out there, we’re willing to, always willing to look at those options, but we’ve spent, we’re in our 12th year of the environmental impact study now, so we think it’s time to get moving," Anderson said.
Anderson also said that not building the expansion would put more pressure on Interstate 10 than that roadway can handle.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has a website on this project at www.southmountainfreeway.com.
RELATED STORY: Route of Loop 202 extension affected by funding