The Cascabel Working group created several statements that were read at the December 21st ADOT Board Meeting and the January 18th ADOT Board Meeting. The following are small PDF files of each of the statements by topic:
Critique of Report & Bypass
Future Transportation Needs
New Traffic Statistics
Our most recent position statement that we presented at the second round of ADOT public meetings.
The Cascabel Working group created position statements which was read at the ADOT listening session in Benson. A partial transcript of this statement is below. For the entire statement, including questions and who it was addressed to, please download the complete position statement as a PDF file.
This statement reflects the position of a large group of San Pedro Valley residents who first met on May 8 to discuss the proposed Tucson-Phoenix I10 Bypass, part of which would be alongside the San Pedro River. As a group we take no position on whether a Bypass around Tucson and/or Phoenix is needed or economic. However, after looking at the route of the proposed highway as published in the Tucson newspaper, all of those present at that and subsequent meetings agreed that building such a bypass in the San Pedro Valley is simply ill advised. There are several reasons.
First, the San Pedro Valley topography and geology is not very conducive to highway construction. The San Pedro River valley is narrow and consists of fragile and unstable alluvial cliffs, hills, washes, and bends. It is also home to an active, shifting and highly unpredictable river that swells as many times its normal size during monsoons. Because of these issues, the cost to the taxpayers to build the proposed highway in this valley would be several times the cost per mile of a highway built on flatter and more hospitable terrain.
Second, much of the San Pedro Valley is protected by conservation projects that residents have put in place with grants and assistance from agencies, institutions and organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Audubon Society, the Bureau of Land Management, the Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, the Cascabel Hermitage Association, and the Salt River Project, to name only a few.
These agencies have funded the many conservation projects because they recognized the amazing wildlife that thrives in this valley and appreciated the need to afford it special protection. As we are sure you know, the San Pedro Valley is home to several endangered and/or threatened species of animals, birds and plants, both at the federal and state level. This is well documented. Also, the San Pedro River is a major bird migratory route in North America, without which many species of birds would soon become endangered or even extinct. From an environmental point of view, the San Pedro Valley is an astonishing jewel that is unique, precious and should be left in its almost pristine state for the environmental welfare of Arizona and for future generations.
A third important consideration against this project is the impact it would have on the archaeological record of the San Pedro Valley. More than 400 archaeological sites have been documented in this portion of the valley, some of which are already under the protection of various agencies and preservation organizations, such as the Center for Desert Archaeology. The present day road through the valley follows the historic Leach Wagon Road, and evidence of early homesteads can still be found alongside it.
A fourth issue is that it would promote urban sprawl. Where goes a highway, so goes development. Where this occurs, governments are compelled to spend additional sums on infrastructure, and this is often not considered in the basic cost of highway construction. Sprawl also encourages long distance commuting and thus exacerbates an already critical energy situation.