The Arizona Department of Transportation is holding several meetings so that the public can weigh in on the Loop 202 expansion.
The first of three meetings took place on Tuesday and was aimed at getting the public’s input regarding preliminary design plans. The expansion will connect Interstate 10 from Phoenix to Chandler through parts of the South Mountain Preserve.
Some of the issues discussed included the freeway’s location, profile, as well as interchange and noise barrier locations. ADOT officials also wanted the community to weigh in on landscaping and other visual plans.
"We want to listen to all the feedback—whether it's positive or negative, we want to hear from the public," ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel said.
Construction crews have already begun a widening project from Pecos Road near 48th Street to the I-10/Loop 202 interchange.
Still, many continue to oppose the project.
"We are the biggest stakeholder in all of this," said Andrew Pedro, before joining a prayer run on the Gila River Indian Community. "These are our lives on the line here; our beliefs, our spirituality. That's why we have to project it."
Construction on the mainline freeway is expected to start early next year, and the entire South Mountain Freeway project is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
Another meeting is slated for Wednesday at Betty Fairfax High School. People who cannot attend can go to the meeting on October 6 at Fowler Elementary School. Both meetings will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.