The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names has approved the naming of a 22-mile South Mountain section of the Loop 202 to Congressman Ed Pastor Freeway, in remembrance of the late Arizona Congressman. He passed away in 2018.
The freeway is currently under construction. It will be named after the late congressman thanks to Democratic Rep. Diego Espinoza of Tolleson’s request for the name change.
Espinoza has the support of Pastor’s family.
“Congressman Pastor was instrumental in acquiring resources for Arizona’s transportation projects, which have helped our state and our economy grow,” Espinoza said in a press release. “At the same time, he has inspired many Arizonans, including myself, through his lifelong commitment to justice, equality and public service, so this is an honor that is much deserved. This week, the Board took a historic step that really befits his legacy by naming this portion of the Loop 202 the Congressman Ed Pastor Freeway.”
Pastor’s wife, Verma, said the family is proud to be a part of the Loop 202 because her late husband “believed transportation initiative were vital to a growing community.”
The congressman held his position for 23 years and was the first Mexican-American from Arizona to be elected.
He played a crucial role in funding and building Valley transportation systems include the Metro Light Rail. He also was a pivotal part of securing a tax to build the central Phoenix stadium where the Arizona Diamondbacks play.
ADOT said the freeway is expected to open to traffic later this year.