By Jon Talton | Tucson Sentinel
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
Seattle recently completed demolition of the double-deck 1950s-era Alaskan Way Viaduct, which ran for more than 2 miles along the waterfront downtown. Now the traffic is in a tunnel and the city is preparing to enjoy unencumbered access to Elliott Bay. An even more ambitious goal is to put a long lid on Interstate 5 downtown, which is already covered by a park for a few blocks.
Meanwhile, in Southern California, the $8 billion, 63-mile High Desert Corridor freeway has been canceled. It would have been the first new freeway in LA County in a quarter century. According to Streetsblog, the project “would have spanned two counties connecting the north L.A. County cities of Palmdale and Lancaster with San Bernardino County cities of Victorville, Apple Valley, and Adelanto. The route would have gone through a patchwork of privately-owned undeveloped wild lands populated by Joshua Trees.” The PIRG Education Fund named it one of the worst highway boondoggles in the nation.
But that’s not how we roll in central Arizona. In addition to the unneeded South Mountain Freeway (pictured above), the state Department of Transportation is planning a 55-mile freeway running from Apache Junction to Eloy. There it would connect with Interstate 10. When in a hole, keep digging.