Audubon Arizona Concerned About Interstate 11 Route

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 10:57pm
Updated: Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 10:58pm
Arizona Department of Transportation
Sign marking the future Interstate 11 corridor.

Monday is the deadline for making public comments on the proposed Interstate 11 planned to connect Nogales to Wickenburg.

Audubon Arizona is urging residents to make a plea for a route that doesn’t disturb the state’s ecosystem.

Audubon Arizona Vice President and Executive Director Sonia Perillo said of the four potential routes listed, the blue route would run right through the Gila River area marshlands and agricultural fields, which are relied on by endangered birds like the Yuma Ridgway’s Rail.

Perillo said the proposed orange route does not interfere with the bird’s habitat and also utilizes infrastructure that is already in place.

“We think that's a good opportunity for our community to still support this expanded infrastructure, but in a way that minimizes the impacts to birds and habitat.”

See A Map Of The Proposed Routes

According to ADOT, I-11 is in the preliminary planning stages and no funding has been identified yet to advance to the next stage.

“I think they're still pretty early in this planning process, at least in terms of choosing the corridor. So I hope we still have an opportunity to influence that,” Perillo said.

Since late April, ADOT has held a series of public hearings on the proposed 280-mile corridor in Buckeye, Wickenburg, Casa Grande, Nogales, Tucson and Marana.

In a statement Friday afternoon, ADOT said the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will be refined based on a mix of public, local government, federal resource agencies and tribal comments received. ADOT also said that all questions and comments received by Monday will be considered in the Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement.

To comment, visit http://i11study.commentinput.com/?id=a1d203t.

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