Sonoran Corridor: March 7 public meeting on potential routes

Proposed freeway would connect I-10, I-19 south of Tucson airport

PHOENIX – Six months after southern Arizona residents gave their opinions on possible routes for the Sonoran Corridor proposed in the Tucson area, they will have the chance March 7 to learn about routes that have been recommended for further study.

At a public meeting, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will share the results of an evaluation of 10 alternatives that were presented to the community in September.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the DoubleTree Suites Tucson Airport, 7051 S. Tucson Blvd. A presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

The meeting is part of a public involvement process that allows the community to ask questions and offer comments about potential locations for the proposed corridor as well as environmental considerations, impacts on wildlife habitat and cultural resources.

The Sonoran Corridor would connect Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 south of Tucson International Airport. It has been designated as a high-priority corridor under the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. There is no timeline for building a freeway in the corridor.

A new freeway in that area would support the economy of southern Arizona and the state. It also would reduce travel distances south of Tucson and relieve congestion at the current interchange of I-10 and I-19 southwest of downtown Tucson.

In the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study, officials are identifying and studying a range of possible corridors along with the opportunities and constraints of each. The study considers the potential social, economic and natural environment impacts of the alternatives, as well as the impact of not building a freeway in this area. The study, which began in 2017, is expected to be completed in 2020.

The study is evaluating multiple 2,000-foot-wide corridor alternatives, including a no-build alternative and multiple build alternatives, to determine a recommendation that is based on technical analysis and other factors, including public input.

A future Tier 2 environmental study would advance the Tier 1 recommendations to identify the specific project alignment, effects and mitigation. There is no timeline or funding identified for the Tier 2 study.

For more information about this study, please visit azdot.gov/SonoranCorridor.

Public comment also is welcome through April 7 in several ways:
     * Email: [email protected]
     * Toll-free bilingual information line: 855.712.8530
     * Mail: Sonoran Corridor Tier 1 EIS Study Team
        c/o Joanna Bradley
        1221 S. Second Ave., Mail Drop T100
        Tucson, AZ 85713