Signs mark proposed freeway linking Vegas, Phoenix

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm •  Published: March 21, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A proposed interstate linking Las Vegas and Phoenix is still years and billions of dollars from reality, but the governors of Nevada and Arizona already have unveiled signs to mark their dream.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., met at the Hoover Dam on Friday to unveil signs that will be posted along the proposed Interstate 11. It was a symbolic effort meant to keep up momentum on the project, which is coming of age in an era of scarce highway funding.

"I firmly believe in the Interstate 11 project and know it will serve to help us compete as a region in the global economy," Brewer said in prepared remarks. "This magnificent sign that we are unveiling here today is proof of our confidence and long-term commitment to seeing this vision to fruition."

Nevada and Arizona are linked by the highway U.S. 93, but the corridor missed out on being in the original interstate network because the region's population exploded after the road-building blitz that began in the mid-1950s.

The states' transportation departments haven't officially estimated the cost of building an interstate-quality road through the 290-mile stretch, although informal projections range from $4 billion to $10 billion.

Beyond the link between Las Vegas and Phoenix, planners envision the road continuing south to Mexico and north to Canada. The freeway would direct more international trade through Nevada and Utah instead of into Texas or California, proponents say, and would provide an alternate north-south corridor that would relieve the heavily traveled Interstate 5 that runs through California, Oregon and Washington.

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