As part of the public review period for the South Mountain Freeway Final Environmental Impact Statement, it was noted that 10 comments submitted in 2013 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement were inadvertently not relayed to the study team for incorporation into the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was released Sept. 26.
This was a technical issue with how a few of the received emails were handled. Measures have been put into place to better document comments when received, and relay them to the study team. In all, nearly 8,000 comments were received on this project from residents, groups and other agencies during the review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
As a result of the 10 missed comments, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have decided to issue a formal “Notice of Omission” in the Federal Register and publish an Errata to the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
The Errata will include the 10 omitted comments and formal responses to those comments; it will be available for a 30-day public review period.
The South Mountain Freeway Corridor Study Team remains committed to completing a thorough and rigorous process for studying the proposed South Mountain Freeway.
A Record of Decision is expected in early 2015. The final decision on construction of the freeway is a cooperativeMaricopa Association of Governments effort, involving ADOT, the Federal Highway Administration and the Maricopa Association of Governments as the regional planning agency. As a corridor that is part of a comprehensive regional plan developed by the Maricopa Association of Governments, ADOT serves as the agency responsible for implementation of the plan, with the Federal Highway Administration providing the federal oversight required to use federal transportation funds.