Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval unveiled a pair of I-11 signs, marking the future route of a multibillion-dollar freeway between Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Standing within view of Hoover Dam and the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the two governors commended the historic cooperation between the two states and said it would be essential to continue that to complete the 290-mile four-lane highway. Joining Brewer and Sandoval at the podium were Rep.
Steven Horsford, D-Nev., the co-chairman of the Congressional I-11 Coalition, and the directors of the Arizona and Nevada transportation departments. Sandoval, Brewer and Horsford hailed I-11 as an economic driver for the two states because the highway eventually would link Mexico with Canada through them. The project also would generate hundreds of construction jobs, an employment sector severely hurt by the recession.
The signs designating the I-11 route were posted Friday, visible to northbound motorists and to southbound drivers of U.S. Highway 93, the existing highway between Phoenix and Las Vegas, the two largest cities in the United States not linked by an interstate. The route-marking signs are designed to keep the I-11 plan in the public eye.
Signs are visible to southbound motorists at milepost 2 of U.S. 93, just south of the bridge over the Colorado and just south of Interstate 40 on U.S. 93. On the northbound side, signs have been posted just north of Wickenburg, Ariz., and just north of Kingman, Ariz., on U.S. 93.
Southern Nevada motorists currently use U.S. 93 and U.S. Highway 60 when they drive to Phoenix. The route is a mix of two-lane roads, four-lane divided highways that don’t meet interstate standards and a chunk of I-40. Traffic slows as it passes through Kingman, Wikieup and Wickenburg.
Experts have estimate the cost of the new highway at $60 billion.
Brewer and Sandoval said they would continue to direct their transportation departments to work together on the project and Horsford promised to work for bipartisan support for federal funding from lawmakers.
Really? Everyone, all together, one big (sarcastic) hooray.
$60 billion dollars to link Las Vegas and Phoenix more directly? Can’t we think of something better to do with $60 billion dollars?
Question: Do they intend to place median barriers on this new route when they build it?
Question: Can we use some of those funds NOW to make the roadways in Arizona safer first?
Over the course of the last 10 years, dozens of people have died between Phoenix and Tucson on Interstate 10 from 1 vehicle crossing over into the opposing lanes. The State has been sued no less than 4-5 times for failing to have safety barriers in place. Once case has been to trial, where the jury awarded the victims almost $8 million. The other cases have not gone to trial yet.
The evidence is that the State of Arizona can install safety barriers, which are NINETY-FIVE percent effective in stopping these crossovers, for the entire stretch between Phoenix and Tucson, for $8-10 million. So, my question: Can we use some of the $60 BILLION to begin saving lives in Arizona first, before we spend it on something that to me seems quite unnecessary and wasteful---especially in this very tough economic time?
Is that too much to ask?