Sonoran Corridor: ADOT wants to know what the public thinks

Sonoran Corridor: ADOT wants to know what the public thinks
Proposed Sonoran Corridor (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Nearly halfway through a three-year environmental study, state and federal transportation officials want public input on a proposed Sonoran Corridor connecting Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 south of Tucson International Airport.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will hold a public information meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, to hear public comments and suggestions for the Sonoran Corridor. The meeting will be held at the Desert Diamond Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway in Tucson. A presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

The Sonoran Corridor has been designated as a high-priority corridor under the federal Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. It would support and connect the economy of southern Arizona and the entire state. It also would reduce travel distances south of Tucson and relieve congestion at the current interchange of I-10 and I-19 southwest of downtown Tucson.

State and federal officials are identifying and studying a range of possible corridors along with the opportunities and constraints of each. The study considers the potential social, economic and natural environment impacts of the alternatives, as well as the impact of not building a freeway in this area.

The Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study is a three-year process developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Expected to be completed in 2020, the Tier 1 study is evaluating multiple 2,000-foot-wide corridor alternatives that would connect I-19 and I-10 south of the Tucson International Airport. The study will evaluate a no-build alternative and multiple build alternatives to determine a recommendation that is based on technical analysis and other factors, including public input.

A future Tier 2 environmental study would advance the Tier 1 recommendations to identify the specific project alignment, effects and mitigation. There is no timeline or funding identified for the Tier 2 study.

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