- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit in hope of stopping the South Mountain Freeway from being built in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

A coalition of environmental and community groups say Tuesday’s suit was filed on behalf of the 50,000 people who agree that Loop 202 extension from Laveen to Chandler would cause significant environmental harm.

The federal government cleared the Arizona Department of Transportation to proceed with the freeway in March.

Loop 202 has been in planning stages since the mid-1980s and is expected to cost $1.9 billion.

ADOT has been seeking private bids to design, build and maintain the freeway.

Officials with ADOT say the freeway is expected to promote economic development in the region and they’re confident any legal challenges to the project won’t succeed.

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