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Study Underway for Sonoran Corridor Routes

Credit: Pima County

Source: Arizona Department of Transportation

The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have begun a three-year environmental study of potential routes for the proposed Sonoran Corridor, which would connect Interstate 19 to Interstate 10 south of Tucson International Airport.

It begins with a comment period lasting through July 15, 2017, that encourages all members of the public to provide input on the Sonoran Corridor study area during a process known as public scoping.

It is an opportunity to ask questions and share comments or concerns about topics such as potential locations for the corridor, environmental considerations, impacts on wildlife habitat or cultural resources, and possible opportunities for other transportation modes that may be considered.

Two public scoping meetings are scheduled:

  • Wednesday, June 7, at the Radisson Hotel Tucson Airport, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, Tucson
  • Thursday, June 8, at the Santa Cruz Valley United Methodist Church, 70 E. Sahuarita Road, Sahuarita

Both meetings will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 6 p.m.

All feedback, questions, and comments from meetings, and provided through other means, will be considered part of the study and entered into the project record.

The Sonoran Corridor has been identified as a critical transportation facility that would diversify, support and connect the economy of southern Arizona and the entire state. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act designated the Sonoran Corridor as a high-priority corridor, reinforcing the need to conduct a study for a future transportation facility that would potentially alleviate traffic congestion at the I-19 and I-10 traffic interchange and reduce travel distances south of the Tucson International Airport.

There is no timetable for building the Sonoran Corridor, and no funding has been identified for it.

The Notice of Intent to prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2017, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which kicks off the formal environmental study process.

The purpose of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement is to identify a selected corridor alternative, which could be the no-build option.

One of the first steps of the environmental study process is to develop a Corridor Selection Report to assess a wide range of corridor alternatives, along with opportunities and constraints.  Ultimately, this will result in a reasonable range of corridor alternatives that will advance into the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement.

The Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will assess on a broad scale the potential social, economic and natural environmental impacts of the no-build option, as well as the reasonable range of corridor alternatives.

Each corridor alternative will be approximately 2,000 feet wide and contain smaller segments that could advance as independent improvement projects. Smaller segments would be studied separately in a Tier 2 environmental document if a corridor alternative is selected.

For more information about this study, visit azdot.gov/SonoranCorridor.

NOTE: Paid subscribers receive additional project details in our twice-weekly PDF publication, including project stakeholder information and valuable project bidding leads. Find out more about AZBEX subscriptions or contact Rebekah Morris at rmorris@azbex.com or (480) 709-4190

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