The Planners for the I-11 Canamex Highway held an online “virtual meeting” during part of February and March and drew over 2,000 comments. These are still being sorted and have not yet been released. The summary, when ready, will be posted on their website, www.i11study.com. The $2.5 million study by the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation plans a Southern Arizona public meeting sometime in June.
Meanwhile Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona and Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval met on Hoover Dam March 21 to unveil “Future I-11” highway signs. Their meeting place was ironic, since I-11 is promoted, in part, as a key to future development. Lake Mead, the world’s largest artificial lake and storage area for Arizona’s Colorado River water, has dropped over 100 feet in 13 years of drought, losing about 30 trillion gallons of water. Another 30 foot drop in water levels – possibly next year -- will trigger mandatory water rationing and could cut Arizona’s allotment in half as well as threaten Las Vegas’ water and electric supply.
Closer to home, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry continues lobbying for his Avra Valley route, telling a March 13 Women’s Transportation Seminar in Tucson that “the I-11 extension around Tucson will be needed to take truck traffic off of Interstate 10” and will “take advantage of the trade opportunities we have with Mexico.” He also advocated for an increase in the state gas tax to pay for projects.
At press time, I-11 planners had not yet set the date and place for a promised Southern Arizona public meeting.