Sonoran Corridor public meeting set for Wednesday in Tucson

ADOT, FHWA seeking public comments on proposed corridor

Proposed Sonoran Corridor Vicinity MapTUCSON – As Arizona Department of Transportation officials continue an environmental study to narrow the potential future route for the Sonoran Corridor, they want to hear what Pima County residents think of the idea.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will hold a public information meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, to hear public comments and suggestions for the Sonoran Corridor. The meeting will be held at the Desert Diamond Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway in Tucson. A presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

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

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 roadway 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 that would connect I-19 and I-10 south of the Tucson International Airport.  The study will evaluate 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 Oct. 26 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

The Sept. 26 meeting is a follow-up to public meetings held in Tucson and Sahuarita in June 2017.