Residents plan to pack up as Loop 202 expansion plan rolls on

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The Arizona Department of Transportation has sent a letter to 175 homeowners informing them of the expansion plans for the Loop 202 freeway in the south Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News) The Arizona Department of Transportation has sent a letter to 175 homeowners informing them of the expansion plans for the Loop 202 freeway in the south Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"We're still upside down in our house and we don't want to be forced into a new home we have to pay money up front. (We're) just hoping they'll at least pay off our existing loan," resident Jennifer Laferriere said. (Source: CBS 5 News) "We're still upside down in our house and we don't want to be forced into a new home we have to pay money up front. (We're) just hoping they'll at least pay off our existing loan," resident Jennifer Laferriere said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"The appraisal process will look at similar homes, similar commercial properties in that area and will be as fair as possible," Arizona Department of Transportation engineer Robert Samour said. (Source: CBS 5 News) "The appraisal process will look at similar homes, similar commercial properties in that area and will be as fair as possible," Arizona Department of Transportation engineer Robert Samour said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The price of progress is about to steam roll through a couple of Valley neighborhoods.

Plans to expand the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway are moving forward, creating some very real concerns for homeowners and businesses.

Residents living along Pecos Road in Ahwatukee are getting ready to pack up and move out.

"We're still upside down in our house and we don't want to be forced into a new home we have to pay money up front. (We're) just hoping they'll at least pay off our existing loan," resident Jennifer Laferriere said.

"The appraisal process will look at similar homes, similar commercial properties in that area and will be as fair as possible," said Arizona Department of Transportation Engineer Robert Samour.

ADOT sent a letter to the 175 homeowners in the area telling them the department is moving forward with plans to expand the Loop 202 freeway from Interstate 10 around 59th Avenue south, then east on Pecos Road across to I-10 and the Loop 202. Those plans have been more than two decades in the making.

Amie Mendoza has lived in the area since 2004, and like most of her neighbors, was fully aware of the freeway that might someday go right through her living room. But she said she was still caught a bit off guard.

"We were surprised. We were worried," Mendoza said.

Her biggest concern now is that state officials give her a fair price when they buy her house.

Samour said ADOT has already started the process of appraising homes and making offers. The goal is to offer fair market value, with some room for negotiation.

If there is no agreement on the sale price of a home, then it goes to court, he said.

The same goes for the sales of businesses, and even a church down the road that will also be forced to relocate.

The Federal Highway Administration still has to sign off on the $1.8 billion, 22-mile project.

But that's expected to happen in January.

Construction would start in the spring of 2016.

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