I-11, intermountain west corridor study is complete; Mexico to Canada route

PHOENIX — More than two years ago, Arizona and Nevada set out on a study to determine the possibilities and benefits of developing a new interstate corridor to connect Phoenix and Las Vegas, while extending south to Mexico and north through Nevada, potentially reaching as far as Canada.

proposal-map
Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor proposal map. | Image courtesy of Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation, St. George News |  Click on image to enlarge

The goal of the study was not just to find a way to directly connect these two major metropolitan areas by building a new highway, but to develop a plan and the necessary infrastructure to position the two states for broader success in the global marketplace.

The Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study is now complete and points to the need for a new multimodal freight corridor and a manufacturing belt that will drive trade, commerce, job growth and economic development for the two states and facilitate strong connections to other major regional markets.

“Transportation is a primary driver of commerce, jobs and tourism,” Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said. “This is why Interstate 11 is such a critical investment in our future, as it opens new possibilities for our state while connecting communities and economies.”

Today the State Transportation Board reviewed and accepted the recommendations documented in the Corridor Concept Report, the final element in this initial two-year feasibility study. This report, along with all the study’s documents and information, can be found at i11study.com.

“Interstate 11 represents one of those major corridors that would provide access to international markets to the north and south of Arizona and to the east and west of us,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “I-11 is part of our plan for Arizona’s Key Commerce Corridors, which requires investment in our transportation infrastructure to ensure the necessary connectivity to other major markets. Arizona’s global competitiveness depends directly on our ability to move people, products and services quickly and efficiently. We need our highway corridors to get us there.”

The recommended I-11 corridor would likely follow U.S. Highway 93 from the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge south to Wickenburg, running west of the Phoenix metropolitan area, and then generally following Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 through southern Arizona to the Mexican border. I-11 is envisioned as a continuous high-capacity trade corridor extending from Nogales to Las Vegas and potentially north toward Canada that will support a high proportion of large-scale manufacturing operations located throughout the corridor with a major focus on reliable movement of freight traffic. As a multimodal corridor, it also has the potential to include freight and passenger rail, energy transmission and other high-tech facilities.

There is currently no schedule or funding to build Interstate 11. The next phase of the study process — the environmental impact statement — is also not funded.

For more information about the Interstate 11 study, visit i11study.com.

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14 Comments

  • ladybugavenger October 12, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Now the mexican illegals can potentially go straight to Canada.

  • My Evil Twin October 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    What I want to see, is the freeway running directly from Las Vegas to Fresno. Easy to do, just tunnel through the Sierras, bridge Death Valley and tunnel through the Spring Mountains…:D

    • Bobber October 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      a real rocket scientist you are…

  • Al October 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Connecting Phoenix with Las Vegas via a freeway has merit and would be useful.

    Beyond vegas, 2 routes, both of them not very valuable, are possible. One of them from Vegas through Battle Mountain ends up in Boise and north to spokane. There is no taming the Idaho Panhandle without trillions of dollars. The other route, equally pointless, is from Vegas to Reno, bypassing Boise and ending up in Spokane.

    If Canada wants to be connected to Mexico, let Mexico and Canada pay for it.

    If someone someplace wanted to build another freeway with some valuable impact, it would be Los Angeles to Vegas… turning that into 4 or 5 lanes each way… to keep millions of people from idling their engines Friday night and Sunday night on the endless Los Angeles to Vegas Gambling Money and Boozing vacations so many in California love to take.

    Note that both of the freeways, Phoenix to Vegas and LA to Vegas… are due to gambling and entertainment facilities in Vegas. There is little other reason in Nevada to waste money on freeways.

    Too bad the environmentalists in CA are so powerful… this one useful freeway would never happen.

  • laytonian October 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    What *I* want to see is a freeway that completely avoids Las Vegas.
    Having to drive through that mess of a “spaghetti bowl” means endangering yourself (including us being sideswiped by a garbage truck last year).

    • Al October 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      I drive around vegas very simply by getting on their 215 belt loop and going on the outskirts of North Las Vegas. I agree with you about the congestion. Just make sure you don’t speed on 215… NHP everywhere it seems.

      Unrelated addition to my comment: They could also make the SLC to Phoenix route much easier if they would extend I-17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff north and connect it to I-15 about Hurricane, UT. A freeway going up the east side of the grand canyon would be very nice. Currently the drive from SLC to Phoenix is not an easy one.

  • Bobber October 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Lets start a bus line called the “taco express” and bus all the illegals coming from Mexico directly to Canada. eh?

  • ladybugavenger October 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Is KOOLAID on vacation?

  • Big Guy October 12, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    No industry in that part of Mexico hence no need for a freeway south to Nogales. No Canadian industry between Vancouver and Calgary, both of which are connected by good roads south into the U.S. This study was a cover story to get Federal funding for a Phoenix to Las Vegas freeway to facilitate gamblers, nothing more. Can’t say whether this would do more good than expanding I-15 from Los Angeles. Getting from Phoenix to Las Vegas can be crowded and is not as safe as an Interstate. But at what cost? Let Arizona pay for it if they want it; the rest of the country shouldn’t have to subsidize them.

    • ladybugavenger October 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      It’s a cover up to get illegal Mexicans to Canada

  • Bender October 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    “no need for a freeway south to Nogales. ”
    .
    Often wrong but never in doubt BIG GUY? Nogales is the northern terminus of Mexico’s Pacific Coastline Corridor which passes through…. wait for it… Mexico City.

    • Big Guy October 13, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Your ignorance is showing again. Very little industry along the Pacific Coastline corridor except near Tijuana, close to California, not Arizona. Most Mexican industry is located near Monterrey with a freeway to the Texas border. And yes, the Pacific Coastline Corridor does connect to Mexico City…over the Sierra Madre (i.e. Mexican Rockies), a very difficult drive. Check a map: Mexico City is not on the Pacific coast. Your argument about “passes through Mexico City” could be said as well about I-15: it “passes through” Washington D.C. and New York via Interstate freeways.

      • Bender October 13, 2014 at 9:29 am

        You assert that since there is no industry directly south of the border at Nogales, there can be no significant goods moving north and south through there? By that logic there can be no trucks carrying goods through St George since there are no factories in the Virgin River Gorge.
        .
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Federal_Highway_15
        .
        I’ll let the Mexicans know that BIG GUY is sure that Mexcian Federal 15, the Pacific Coast Corridor Highway, does not connect to Mexico City. I’ll also let them know that the Sierra Madre is impassible and not to attempt construction there. I only wish BIG GUY had been present in the late 1800’s to call off railroad construction over the Sierra Nevada by the Southern Pacific.
        .
        Like I said BIG GUY, often wrong but never in doubt. Ever consider getting your information from someplace other than AM hate radio and Fox News?

  • Sherrell October 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    How about this: A freeway to Heaven. I can see it now, and it doesn’ involve grading an(d) ass-fault.

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