A recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has allowed the Arizona Department of Transportation's (ADOT) South Mountain Freeway project to move forward with an expected completion date of late 2019.
The 9th Circuit ruling affirmed a 2016 ruling by the U.S. District Court of Arizona on all the issues related to the 22-mile freeway project, which will link the East Valley and West Valley and provide an alternative route for motorists traveling Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix.
“This is a clear victory for one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, ensuring that progress will continue on a project that will make this a better place to live and do business,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said in a press release. “ADOT has worked closely with the city of Phoenix, the Maricopa Association of Governments and Federal Highway Administration to develop the most extensive environmental review of any highway project to date in Arizona, and the courts have taken notice of this by ruling in favor of this project at every step.”
The South Mountain Freeway project, which was approved by Maricopa residents in 1985 and in 2004, is part of a regional transportation plan and will complete the Valley's Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system.