Mid 1980s to Mid 1990s
ADOT and MAG prepared a plan for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway to run along Pecos Road behind South Mountain. At that time, there was almost no development behind South Mountain. Also at that time, few people or organizations considered air pollution or other resource issues when doing highway planning.
ADOT and MAG did not have the funding to build a South Mountain Freeway at that time anyway, so they entertained the idea of having it built as a private toll road. The private company that was interested did its own study and determined that the South Mountain Freeway would not carry enough traffic to be cost effective. At that time, the consideration was valley traffic only, and the conclusion was that a freeway was not needed to handle valley traffic behind South Mountain.
Late 1990s to Early 2000s
Ahwatukee Foothills had grown so much that it required traffic relief. Pecos Road was connected to the I-10 at the intersection of the Loop 202 Santan Freeway. Traffic congestion was relieved, and Pecos Road has served the needs of Ahwatukee Foothills residents ever since.
There was some discussion at the time about completing Pecos Road around South Mountain and making it a parkway with no truck traffic allowed. ADOT and the City of Phoenix vetoed this idea and they have been vetoing it ever since.
Mid 2000s to Present
Pecos Road has never had a congestion problem – it is the traffic congestion on the I-10 going to/from downtown that has become worse over time. ADOT continues to spend a lot of time and taxpayer money considering a South Mountain Freeway and tries to claim that it will help the situation on the Broadway curve. A study showed that any traffic improvement on the Broadway curve resulting from a South Mountain Freeway would be so little that it wouldn’t make any significant difference to drivers. Meanwhile, ADOT only makes minor improvements to the Broadway curve when major improvements are clearly needed.
Lost in all the arguments about a South Mountain Freeway and the I-10 Broadway curve congestion is the “subtle” change in ADOT’s and MAG’s plans for the Loop 202. Now there is not only a need for a South Mountain Freeway, but it will be 8-10 lanes! Now, the CANAMEX Highway will end up following that route, but ADOT denies this development. The CANAMEX Highway is THE significant reason that ADOT and MAG “need” the South Mountain Freeway!