New Highway Would Cut Through Communities, Conservation Areas

Concerned Arizona residents, ecologists and academics turned out in force on the night of Wednesday, November 29 to oppose the Arizona Department of Transportation's (ADOT's) plans to construct an Interstate 10 highway bypass intended to allow heavy trucking traffic to avoid the area between Phoenix and Tucson.

Much of the opposition centered around the fact that all proposed routes would pass through critical ecological areas, including the San Pedro Riparian Corridor, Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness or Saguaro National Park. In the hour allotted for public comment after the ADOT presentation, approximately 40 people spoke out passionately against the bypass plan, with only one voice in favor (this person claimed that the San Pedro River Valley, a world-renowned avian corridor, contains no wildlife other than "maybe a few quail").

The first to comment was a representative of the Cascabell Working Group, who objected that the public meetings had been scheduled for only a week after the study's results were made public. He said that the overwhelming objections raised in the first round of public meetings had not been taken into account in the study's findings, leading him to wonder if the study's conclusions were "predetermined from the start." He criticized the report's failure to take ecological, archaeological, historical or cultural impacts of the road into account.

The public meeting began with a presentation by ADOT and consulting firm URS about the results of the Interstate 10 (I-10) Phoenix/Tucson Bypass Study, a "preliminary assessment of the need and feasibility for a new transportation corridor that would provide an alternative to I-10, from the Buckeye area to eastern Arizona." The results of this study will be presented to the State Transportation Board before the end of the year, and the board will then decide whether to proceed with further planning for the bypass... read more>>>

The next three ADOT public meetings on the I-10 bypass will be:
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007 - Casa Grande Council Chambers - 510 E. Florence Blvd.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 - Buckeye Community Center - 201 E. Centre
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007 - Willcox Community Center - 312 W. Stewart Street

Click here to see a map of the proposed bypass routes.

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