PHOENIX – The Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the 280-mile Interstate 11 corridor – stretching from Nogales to Wickenburg – is now available for review and comment. After three years of study, technical analysis, and input from communities and stakeholders, movement of the I-11 Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement to the public comment phase is a milestone for the proposed corridor.
Members of the public are encouraged to review the draft environmental document and provide input beginning April 5 through May 31. The Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, including a Preliminary Section 4(f) Evaluation, is available at i11study.com/Arizona. The website also lists locations throughout the study area where a copy of the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement is available for review.
Prepared by the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement describes the study process, completed in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. It proposes a Recommended Corridor Alternative, including a parallel analysis of the No-Build Alternative.
The Recommended Corridor Alternative is 2,000 feet wide and includes an area where construction of I-11 could be further analyzed. If a corridor is selected at the end of the Tier 1 study, further Tier 2 studies and evaluations must take place before construction could be considered. The corridor would be narrowed to a highway alignment, which is about 400 feet wide. An alignment determining where I-11 could be built would be decided during a future phase of design and environmental studies. Currently, however, there are no plans or funding available to initiate these Tier 2 studies.
There are several ways to submit comments on the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, including online, in person at a public hearing, and by email, U.S. postal mail and a bilingual telephone hotline. The same information, as well as opportunities for the public to comment, will be available at each hearing:
Monday, April 29
5 to 8 p.m.
Palo Verde Energy Education Center
600 N. Airport Road
Tuesday, April 30
4 to 7 p.m.
Wickenburg Community Center
160 N. Valentine St.
Wednesday, May 1
5 to 8 p.m.
777 N. Pinal Ave.
Tuesday, May 7
4 to 7 p.m.
Quality Hotel Americana
639 N. Grand Ave.
Wednesday, May 8
3 to 8 p.m.
Tucson Convention Center Ballrooms/Lobby
260 S. Church Ave.
Saturday, May 11
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Marana High School Cafeteria
12000 W. Emigh Road
In addition to providing verbal or written comments at a public hearing, comments can be submitted using the following methods:
Bilingual Phone: 1.844.544.8049
Mail: I-11 Tier 1 EIS Study Team, c/o ADOT Communications, 1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Once the public comment period is complete for the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, the I-11 study team will continue to evaluate the Recommended Corridor Alternative based on the comments received and the ongoing technical analysis. The Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will present a Preferred Corridor Alternative and the No-Build Option. Finally, the Record of Decision from the Federal Highway Administration will present either a Selected Corridor Alternative or the No-Build Option.
The proposed I-11 is envisioned as a multi-use corridor that would provide a connection from Mexico to the Hoover Dam, connecting with I-11 in Nevada. This proposed statewide highway would improve Arizona’s access to regional and international markets while opening up new opportunities for enhanced travel, mobility, trade, commerce, job growth and economic competitiveness. While the evaluation phase of this high-priority and high-capacity transportation corridor has begun, funding for further studies, design and construction has not been identified.
In 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, formally designated I-11 in Arizona. The designation doesn’t include funding but identifies I-11 as a high-priority corridor eligible for federal funding. I-11 is envisioned to include a combination of new and existing roadways.
For more information about I-11 and the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, visit i11study.com/Arizona.