Phoenix-to-Las Vegas Interstate Proposal Gets Signs
Governor Jan Brewer, standing near what may become an interstate.
Twenty-three years after the first official discussions of a straight, interstate-quality path for vehicles from Phoenix to Las Vegas, there finally is physical evidence of progress: some signs.
There's no construction date, no funding, and the studies aren't even done, but the Arizona Department of Transportation has put up four "Future I-11 Corridor" signs along the proposed path of the interstate.
Congress designated Interstate 11 in a 2012 transportation bill, which started the process of the studies. According to ADOT:
The Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study is a two‐year, multi-phase, high‐level study examining the feasibility, benefits, opportunities and constraints of a proposed new interstate highway corridor. This initial study is expected to be completed later this year. Funding to construct a potential corridor has not been identified. In addition to the Arizona and Nevada departments of transportation, the Maricopa Association of Governments, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration are partners in the study.
The initial study phase is scheduled to be completed by July, but there would still be additional studies that would have to be done before any construction started.
The goal is to eventually have an interstate that runs from Canada to Mexico, with Vegas and Phoenix along the route.
According to the reports, U.S. 93, from Wickenburg to Las Vegas, would be used for the route. The bridge to bypass the Hoover Dam opened in 2010, and much of the stretch has been widened to four lanes (two on each side) over the years. According to one of these reports, there are only about 45 miles of highway that still needs to be widened to four lanes. Other changes would have to be made to meet the interstate safety standards.
Until all that happens, there are just the signs.
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