Business | National

Gila River man pushes controversial highway development





A member of the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona is trying to convince fellow landowners to agree to a controversial highway.

Joseph Perez wants to develop a new city on the reservation through his company Pangea Development Co. LLC. Part of the plan includes running a portion of the $2 billion South Mountain Freeway through land owned by individual tribal members.

Perez says his company has 1,500 allottees on board. He believes they can work out a deal with the state and the federal government to host the highway route.

“The biggest deal for me is to change my community,” Perez told The Arizona Republic. “They do the same thing over and over again, and it doesn’t work. This isn’t a handout.”

Tribal leaders say the project also needs their approval. They are considering a referendum on the highway and have questioned whether Perez and Pangea are being honest with landowners.

Get the Story:
Gila River member pushes controversial South Mountain Freeway (The Arizona Republic 3/25)
1998 plan for South Mountain Freeway passed over (The Arizona Republic 3/25)

Related Stories:
Gila River Indian Community continues to debate highway plan (02/21)