A dispute over the proposed Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway now awaits a Judge’s decision. Arguments for and against the project made their case Wednesday in Federal court in Phoenix.  Residents living near the proposed 202 in Ahwatukee and South Mountain are suing to prevent the state from going

ahead with construction. Pat Lawliss, one of many plaintiffs, says life near a South Mountain freeway would mean looking down at numerous semis, a mess of an interchange and a mess venturing out into traffic.

Gila River Indian Community Governor Steven Lewis says just enough of South Mountain would be cut to not only disrupt, but “wipe off the face of the earth” sacred tribal artifacts, the ability to freely worship and maintain community interaction.

ADOT’S Dustin Krugel, speaking for the defendant, says a new freeway means more even traffic distribution and better air quality. He also disputes the lawsuit’s allegation that ADOT haphazardly embarked on the project without proper reviewing it, saying, this has been the “most extensive environmental analysis of any freeway project in Arizona history. “Judge Diane Humetewa requires the plaintiffs to show ADOT was in such a rush to begin construction without considering alternate routes or environmental standards. The Judge must issue a ruling before construction is scheduled to begin in July.