Another Loop 202 extension proposal?

PHOENIX - The dry dusty desert in the south Valley along Pecos road has been slated for development for nearly 30 years. 

Arizona Department of Transportation officials recently decided on a Loop 202 extension plan and plan to move forward with it in 2014.

"Currently it will go down Pecos Road, cut through South Mountain, up to 59th Avenue, and up to Interstate 10. That's my understanding," Gila River tribal member, Joseph Perez said.

The course of the Loop 202 extension could claim several homes and even a church.

Thursday afternoon, a developer and group of landowners offered a new plan to keep the route from cutting into the mountain some view as sacred.

"To launch a new initiative, a voter initiative to save South Mountain," Perez said.

The proposal takes the extension south of Pecos, through privately held land, south of Tribal lands, ultimately going further west of the mountain.

Not everyone is in favor of more discussion.

Phoenix city councilman Michael Nowakowski says plans are in place and it's time to move forward with the vital connection.

"People have been arguing over this freeway since 1985. My thing is let's just build the darn freeway and get it over with," he said.

ADOT officials say they'll meet with tribal land owners and developers to discuss the new proposal, but it will take a lot of convincing to rework the new highway.

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