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PHOENIX -- A consortium of construction companies wants to build a proposed Phoenix-area freeway, and the state says the grouo's unsolicited plan has cleared an initial review.

The Department of Transportation says the proposal isn't to build the $1.9 billion South Mountain Freeway as a toll route. Instead, the consortium would finance, design and build the freeway and then be paid back from a regional road fund.

The long-proposed freeway would provide an alternative to Interstate 10 across the Phoenix area.

The freeway has stirred controversy because of environmental concerns and because of opposition among some residents of the Gila River Indian Community to allowing the freeway to be built on reservation land.

ADOT says it now plans to study the proposed public-private partnership in more detail.

Associated Press,

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