The Arizona Department of Transportation in April released the draft Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, analyzing the effects of the freeway. The study favors building the 22-mile, $2-billion freeway along Pecos Road in Chandler and connecting it to I-10 at 59th Avenue, arguing that it is the best way to reduce traffic and improve air quality in the Phoenix metropolitan area as the population continues to grow.
Inside GRIC, pro-freeway groups and no-build proponents are at odds, but they can at least agree on one thing: they do not want any harm to come to South Mountain, a site held sacred by the O’odham. But that is exactly what will happen if ADOT decides to build the freeway as laid out in the draft EIS. The proposed eight-lane freeway would cut into three ridges and destroy about 40 acres of Phoenix South Mountain Park Preserve.