WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Representative Greg Stanton (D-AZ) today introduced a bill to accelerate the development of Interstate 11 (I-11) in Arizona.

The legislation would provide new federal assistance to complete the required Tier II Environmental Impact Study for segments of the project.

“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 must modernize our infrastructure. Currently, Phoenix and Las Vegas are the only two major cities in America not connected by a highway,” said Sen. Martha McSally.  “When this project is completed, the I-11 corridor will provide a direct route from our southern border to Phoenix to Las Vegas. I am glad to work with Sen. Sinema and Rep. Stanton to ensure the project is completed in a timely manner in order to meet the growing need for quality infrastructure in our state.”

“We’re working together on this bipartisan bill to advance a project that could create enormous economic potential in our state,” said Rep. Greg Stanton. “I-11 would open up a new transportation corridor in Arizona, leading to new jobs and increased trade with our partners in Mexico and Canada. I’m encouraged by this next step forward to accelerate I-11.”

I-11 offers a unique opportunity to stimulate job growth not only in the important areas of tourism and travel, but in other major industry sectors such as health care, aerospace, logistics, distribution, and technology. These industries need a dependable, reliable and efficient transportation corridor to be successful. Another major benefit of I-11 will be reduced traffic congestion in key areas.

In addition to I-11 being vital to the overall economic success of our region, this project will bolster the nation's options for additional trade routes and trading opportunities with Mexico and Canada. I-11 would be a vital segment to the CANAMEX Corridor, as this project has the potential to connect the U.S. to emerging economies in Latin America.

At the completion of I-11, the region is estimated to generate $24 billion in economic impact and approximately 24,000 jobs.

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is a co-sponsor of the Senate legislation.

The text of the bill is available here.

Multiple state and local leaders expressed their support for the bill.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey wrote: “I am writing in support of your proposed legislation to provide additional technical and financial assistance to advance one of those key routes, Interstate 11. Interstate 11 will be a significant improvement to Arizona’s system of high-priority, high-capacity, access-controlled transportation corridors in the state. Specifically, Interstate 11 will increase capacity for trade and commerce with Mexico and Canada throughout the Intermountain West, and is expected to relieve congestion in downtown Phoenix.”

Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski wrote: “I am writing to express my appreciation for your efforts to acquire additional technical and financial assistance for transportation infrastructure projects in Arizona. Any additional resources that state receives will be helpful in building out Arizona’s transportation infrastructure.”

The Board of Directors of The Interstate 11 Coalition wrote: “The development of Interstate 11 is crucial to economic viability of Arizona and Nevada, as well as the entire Intermountain West. Completion of Interstate 11 will enhance the commerce connectivity with Mexico and the growing industrial markets of both states.”

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord wrote: “The city of Goodyear is grateful for your leadership in drafting legislation to ensure the development of Interstate 11 continues to progress. The growth in the West side of Maricopa County is undeniable and the new Interstate 11 corridors will enhance the quality of life for our region by reducing congestion on Interstate 10 and providing alternative routes for traffic.”

Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland wrote: “On behalf of the City of Casa Grande and my fellow AZ Cities, I offer our thanks and express our full support for the legislation drafted to advance the development of Interstate 11 and bring the resources of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) into the process at such a critical time.”

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price and Pinal County Supervisor for District 4 Anthony Smith wrote: “On behalf of the Pinal County I-11 Coalition, we express our support of the legislation to advance the development of Interstate 11. We are pleased that the legislation includes a requirement that the funds provided to the state for Interstate 11 are supplemental to any funds routinely allocated by the United States Department of Transportation to our regional metropolitan planning organizations.”

The Arizona Rock Products Association wrote: “Construction of Interstate 11 will generate thousands of construction jobs and open new opportunities for expanding existing business and attracting new industry to our state. It will greatly improve public safety and reduce travel time between the two largest cities in the country connected by an Interstate: Phoenix and Las Vegas.”

The Nevada Economic Development Council wrote: “Las Vegas and Phoenix are the two (2) largest cities in the nation without an interstate highway connection. The construction of Interstate 11 is critical to the economic viability of Arizona and Nevada as well the connectivity of the Intermountain West.”

Letters of support can be read here.