By Chris Coppola for The Arizona Republic
A planned extension of the Loop 202 freeway through the Ahwatukee Foothills will include a recreational path for bicyclists, offsetting the loss of Pecos Road as a popular biking route when the new highway is built.
The 15-foot-wide path will be on the south side of the freeway, also known as the South Mountain Freeway, said Eric Anderson, Transportation Director for the Maricopa Association of Governments, the Valley’s regional transportation planning agency.
Phoenix and Chandler had advocated for the addition of the path to accommodate cyclists, who for years have been drawn to the stretch of Pecos west of Interstate 10 as it snakes between the Ahwatukee Foothills and the open land of the Gila River Indian Community.
MAG’s long-range plan also includes adding pedestrian bridges over Interstate 10 at Alameda Drive in Tempe, which would provide a connection near Tempe Diablo Stadium, and at Guadalupe Road.
The 6-mile path alongside the new freeway would extend from 40th street west to 17th Avenue, said Chandler City Councilman Rick Heumann, who worked on the issue with Phoenix Council member Sal DiCiccio. DiCiccio’s district includes Ahwatukee Foothills.
The path’s cost is part of the estimated $1.75 billion project price, which is funded in part by a regional sales tax approved by voters in 2004.
Read more at The Arizona Republic