June 21, 2004
Mesa is constructing $5.5 million of roads this summer to help ready Williams Gateway Airport for takeoff.
By this fall, drivers who now can only get to the airport and neighboring Arizona State University East from Power Road on the west side will be able to come in from Germann Road on the south.
Limited access to the site was fine when it was Williams Air Force Base, but not so good when it’s angling to be an economic and educational hub for the south East Valley. Officials have been positioning Williams Gateway to be a reliever to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and expect the area to develop into a major employment center.
The roadway work involves extending east-west Pecos Road three miles from Power Road to Ellsworth Road, and north-south Sossaman Road three miles from Germann Road, past Pecos and to a section of Sossaman at the airport’s terminal.
"It’ll certainly help people working at the airport and everyone going to the university," said Wayne Balmer, Mesa’s Williams Gateway area project manager.
Russ Brandt, one the owners of two square miles of land immediately south of the airport, said some area stakeholders probably would have liked to see the roads built sooner, "but when you look at the timing of things, the airport wasn’t really ready for it a couple of years ago."
East Valley Partnership president Roc Arnett said developers are snapping up available land in the area before Loop 202 opens just north of the airport in two years.