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Sides in Phoenix-area freeway expansion battle get more time

PHOENIX — A federal judge has given the sides in the South Mountain freeway court battle an extension on paperwork, but that won’t interfere with the project’s 2016 start date.

U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa granted sides more time to produce documents and for plaintiffs to
respond with court filings.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said construction of the $1.9 billion controversial expansion will still begin in July 2016.

The freeway expansion, 22 miles of roadway to connect Loop 202 in Chandler to Interstate 10 in the West Valley, has been opposed for years, most recently by a the Gila River Indian Community and environmental and community groups.

The court had already denied a request for the project to be blocked during the summer.

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

Withing a month, ADOT crews began tearing down homes in preparation for construction of the segment.

The federal government signed off on the plans for good in March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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