Legal Challenge Freezes Freeway Project

According to court filings, both sides need more time to produce documents.

📅   Mon November 09, 2015 - National Edition
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Construction of a planned Phoenix-area freeway is on hold while a federal judge considers legal challenges to the project.
Construction of a planned Phoenix-area freeway is on hold while a federal judge considers legal challenges to the project.

Editor’s Note: The Associated Press has issued a correction on this story detailing the fact that the South Mountain Freeway project is not on hold.

PHOENIX (AP) — I’ll take more time for a federal judge to resolve legal challenges to a planned Phoenix-area freeway.

The South Mountain Freeway faces challenges from the Gila River Indian Community and a coalition of environmental and community groups.

U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa (hoo-mee-TEE’-wah) has granted sides in the court case extensions on deadlines to produce documents and for plaintiffs to respond with court filings.

The sides told the judge that construction isn’t scheduled to start until mid-2016 and the Arizona Department of Transportation says the changes in the court case’s schedule doesn’t change that.

The freeway would extend the Loop 202 by 22 miles to connect Interstate 10 in Chandler and Laveen.

The federal government cleared the Arizona Department of Transportation to proceed with the freeway in March.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the time extensions affect the court case, not the construction schedule. To read ADOT’s statement on the matter, click here.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

PHOENIX (AP) - Construction of a planned Phoenix-area freeway is on hold while a federal judge considers legal challenges to the project.

The sides in the case told U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa (hoo-mee-TEE’-wah) that the state and federal governments have agreed to postpone construction of the South Mountain Freeway until mid-July 2016.

According to court filings, the government agencies being sued need more time to produce documents and then the plaintiffs need time to respond with court filings.

The project faces challenges from the Gila River Indian Community and a coalition of environmental and community groups.

The freeway would extend the Loop 202 by 22 miles to connect Interstate 10 in Chandler and Laveen.

The federal government cleared the Arizona Department of Transportation to proceed with the freeway in March.