Interstate 11 corridor expected to be approved

The Interstate 11 corridor will be included in the federal Transportation Bill expected to be approved later this week by Congress. Arizona fought to include I-11 in the bill to create the designation for this proposed new interstate highway corridor.

Advocates of the project believe it is cornerstone of jobs and economic development, providing transportation and trade infrastructure needed to improve Arizona’s competitiveness in a global marketplace. I-11 is a link between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

While an exact alignment for I-11 will be determined through extensive engineering and environmental studies, the work beginning this summer will examine a connection between Phoenix and Las Vegas, with the potential to extend north towards Canada and south to the Mexico border. Such a corridor provides a new connection for communities, major trade hubs, existing and future domestic and international deepwater ports and intersecting transcontinental roadways and railroad corridors.

Phoenix and Las Vegas remain the largest cities in the nation not linked by an interstate highway corridor. The combined population of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Reno was less than 700,000 when the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was enacted. Today, the combined population of these cities is 8 million andis expected to grow even further, prompting the need for better surface transportation connections to accommodate not only the travel demand between these metropolitan areas, but also improved mobility for freight shipments throughout the Intermountain West and inland portions of the West Coast.