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ADOT sends letters to homeowners in path of proposed Loop 202 expansion

PHOENIX — Some residents of the South Valley may soon be looking for new homes, because the Arizona Department of Transportation is seeking to move forward with plans to expand the Loop 202 freeway.

The South Mountain Freeway project has been in the works for roughly 20 years, but ADOT just recently began taking formal steps by sending letters to some residents whose homes lie in the path of the freeway.

“The letter was just advising residents — specific residents — that their house was potentially in the right-of-way area for the proposed freeway and that they would soon be contacted by an appraiser to begin the process of appraising their home,” said ADOT spokesman Tim Tait.

Tait said the department sent out about 150 letters to residents along Pecos Road in Ahwatukee and a few other letters to homeowners in Laveen. In total, ADOT would have to acquire roughly 230 properties for the project to be completed, Tait said.

“This really shouldn’t be a startling revelation to any of the homeowners in the alignment,” he said. “It’s been well known in the corridor that properties would have to be acquired.”

For the time being, Tait said ADOT is only appraising homes and will not be making any purchases of any properties until the department receives approval from the Federal Highway Administration to move forward with the freeway extension.

Kelly Roberts, one of the homeowners along Pecos Road who received a letter from ADOT, said she has conflicted feelings about the request.

“It was mixed feelings of a little of bit of relief that this might be coming to an end, and then feelings of ‘Oh, shoot, we’re going to be displaced from our home,'” Roberts said.

Roberts said she and her family have been fortunate in that they have not had to sell their home, but she added that, with rumors of the freeway expansion looming over her house for several years, it would be very difficult to sell and receive a fair price for their property.