Gila tribe weighing freeway on reservation land

Phoenix, Arizona (AP) January 2011

Gila tribal members are weighing whether to allow part of a nearly $2 billion freeway to cross reservation land rather than cut into the Phoenix South Mountain Preserve and the Ahwatukee Foothills.

The planned Loop 202 extension would link west Phoenix to Chandler with a 22-mile freeway.

A Gila River Indian Community Tribal Council spokeswoman tells The Arizona Republic that since December tribal members have discussed a possible freeway route on reservation land.

A member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee says they’re thankful the tribe is willing to take a look at the freeway route.

The current route would require the destruction of three mountain ridges, a church and more than 100 homes in Ahwatukee.