A federal appeals court has refused to issue an emergency order to stop construction of a new Phoenix- freeway.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's action Monday means construction of the South Mountain Freeway can proceed while the appeals court considers an appeal.
The new freeway will connect with Interstate 10 on opposite sides of Phoenix, providing an alternative to driving on I-10 through central Phoenix.
The project is being challenged by opponents who include the Gila River Indian Community and a coalition of environmental and community groups.
A federal judge ruled in August that government agencies complied with federal law in advancing the project, and the judge in October denied a motion for an injunction to halt construction.