I-11 study hits milestone
I-11 study hits milestone
After five years of study, technical analysis and input from communities and stakeholders, the Arizona Department of Transportation has published the Interstate 11 Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the public to review. This marks a milestone for the 280-mile proposed corridor, stretching from Nogales to Wickenburg. The study also represents the largest, in miles, of a Tier I undertaken in Arizona.
The proposed I-11 is envisioned as a multi-use corridor that would provide a connection from Mexico to the Hoover Dam, connecting with I-11 in Nevada. This proposed statewide highway would improve Arizona’s access to regional and international markets while opening up new opportunities for enhanced travel, mobility, trade, commerce, job growth and economic competitiveness. While the evaluation phase of this high-priority and high-capacity transportation corridor has begun, funding for further studies, design and construction has not been identified.
The Final Tier 1 EIS is available at i11study.com/Arizona. The website also lists locations throughout the study area where a hard copy of the Final Tier 1 EIS is available for review. An Interactive EIS is also available on the study website. The 30-day public review period runs through the close of business on Monday, Aug. 16. For information on how to submit a comment, visit the Contact Us page on the study website.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Final Tier I EIS outlines the Preferred Corridor Alternative, including a parallel analysis of what’s called the “No-Build Alternative.” The process to develop a Preferred Corridor Alternative included technical analysis, coordination with study partners such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), participating and cooperating agencies and tribal governments, and the review and consideration of public input received. ADOT and FHWA listened to and read every public comment submission during the Tier I study. More than 12,000 comment submissions were received during the 90-day public comment period for the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, which was published on April 5, 2019.
Once the 30-day public review period is complete for the Final Tier 1 EIS, ADOT and FHWA will work toward a Record of Decision (ROD). That document, which is scheduled to be published in late 2021, will identify a Selected Corridor Alternative or the No-Build Option. The ROD marks the end of the Tier 1 EIS process.
I want to thank and congratulate all of our stakeholders and the thousands of people who have taken the time to comment during this process. Thanks also to the I-11 study team for their due diligence in conducting this important study and reaching this milestone.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the support from the Arizona State Transportation Board, which authorized $15 million to be spent to study the 280 miles from Nogales to Wickenburg. It was the foresight of former Chairman Victor Flores who saw the need to include the entire corridor for the study.
Designating US 93 from Wickenburg to Nevada as the “Future I-11 Corridor” was made possible by our congressional delegation, which also deserves my thanks and appreciation. That effort provided another vital milestone for the corridor.
Governor Doug Ducey has been a strong proponent for the I-11 Corridor. He sees the importance of improving Arizona’s access to regional and international markets, which in turn enhances the state’s economy and competitiveness within the region.
I would like to recognize the important partnerships ADOT has had during the course of the study, from FHWA to the Maricopa Association of Governments, Pima Association of Governments, Sun Corridor in Pinal County and the I-ll Coalition.
I would encourage everyone to visit the study website to learn more about this potential future key Arizona corridor. Again, that study website is i11study.com/Arizona.