As the Interstate 11 environmental study progresses and new proposed corridor alternatives have taken shape, the Arizona Department of Transportation is once again looking to the public and agencies to get involved and comment on the work that’s been done over the past year.
Six public meetings have been scheduled in May as part of ADOT’s commitment to study and get input on a 280-mile-long corridor stretching from Nogales to Wickenburg.
During the first year of this three-year study that began in March 2016, ADOT evaluated a wide range of alternatives ‒ or possible routes ‒ in order to narrow the choices to the recommended range of reasonable alternatives to be evaluated further in the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. These alternative corridor options will be available for review and comment at the public meetings and during a 30-day public comment period.
The final set of corridor options, which will be determined after the public comment period, will be subject to further analysis as part of the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. A no-build option will also be evaluated.
I-11 is envisioned as a multimodal corridor connecting Arizona with regional and international markets while opening up new opportunities for mobility, trade, commerce, job growth and economic competitiveness. While the planning phase for this high-priority corridor is well underway, funding for further studies, design and construction has yet to be identified.
“As we look to invest and prioritize needs to improve Arizona’s transportation infrastructure, we must begin with planning for the future and how to better connect people, communities and markets,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Our global competitiveness and high-paying jobs depend directly on our ability to move people, products and services quickly and efficiently throughout our state and beyond its borders. That’s why Interstate 11 is being considered as a critical component in Arizona’s freight and travel network.”
The alternative corridor options that will be presented for review were developed from several factors: input from last year’s public and agency scoping period, technical analysis, findings from previous studies, and public comment through emails, calls, mail and the study website.
The public comment period will begin on April 28. That’s when the latest study and meeting materials will be posted to the Interstate 11 website at i11study.com and an online mapping and comment tool will be activated. The comment period runs through June 2. The schedule for the six public meetings is here:
Tuesday, May 2
Arizona Riverpark Inn
777 W. Cushing St.
Wednesday, May 3
Marana Middle School – cafeteria
11285 W. Grier Rd.
Thursday, May 4
Nogales High School – cafeteria
1905 N. Apache Blvd.
Wednesday, May 10
Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center – dining room
405 E. Sixth St.
Thursday, May 11
Wickenburg Community Center
160 N. Valentine St.
Tuesday, May 16
Buckeye Community Center – multipurpose room
201 E. Centre Ave.
All meetings, which will have an open house format, run from 5 to 7 p.m., with presentations beginning at approximately 5:15 p.m. Following the presentations, study team members will be available to answer questions. The same information will be presented at each meeting.
The recommended I-11 corridor would likely follow US 93 from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge south to Wickenburg. The 280-mile corridor that is the focus of the current environmental study begins in Wickenburg and runs west of the Phoenix metropolitan area, south to the Tucson area and then to Nogales.
ADOT is currently developing an Alternatives Selection Report to assess the corridor alternatives and options, along with opportunities and constraints. A Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will evaluate in greater detail a reasonable range of corridor alternatives, including segments that could advance to design or construction as independent improvements or projects. There will be a no-build alterative as well. The Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, which would include a preferred corridor alternative or the no-build option, and the Record of Decision are expected in 2019.
Throughout the course of the study, the public, communities and other stakeholders will always have the opportunity to comment and help shape the proposed I-11 corridor. All comments are entered into the project record. Comments can be sent to:
Interstate 11 Tier 1 EIS Study Team
c/o ADOT Communications
1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F
Phoenix, AZ 85007