Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate asking for increased federal funding for a project that has been talked about for nearly a decade: a new interstate highway connecting Phoenix with Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arizona Senators Martha McSally and Krysten Sinema are specifically seeking money to fund the required Tier II Environmental Impact Study needed for certain segments of the project.
Arizona officials have long promoted the construction of what would be Interstate 11, noting that Phoenix and Las Vegas are the only adjacent metropolitan areas in the U.S. without a direct freeway link.
If built, the highway, which would be the first new interstate built in the country in nearly three decades, is expected to cost anywhere from $3.1 billion to $7.6 billion to complete.
In a statement, McSally remarked: “Cross-border and interstate commerce are a major driver for job creation in Arizona. In order to keep up with our state’s rapid growth, we most modernize our infrastructure.”
Last year it was announced that the Arizona Department of Transportation was studying three separate routes for what would be a roughly 300-mile connection.
An existing potion of the Interstate 11 currently exists as a 15-mile route between Henderson, Nevada and the state line between Arizona and Nevada.
A nearly $5 million environmental assessment is already underway in Nevada for the project and expected to be completed sometime in 2022.
By Garry Boulard
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