NDOT seeking public comment on I-11

The Nevada Department of Transportation is looking to gain public input for the northern portion of the future path of Interstate 11.

A public input period is open on or before Nov. 8 for area citizens who want to comment on the potential routes I-11 could take north of Las Vegas and toward Interstate 80.

NDOT has worked to narrow down plans, utilizing public feedback and technical analysis that’s already been conducted, for the future expansion of the proposed 450-mile planned corridor in the state.

According to Meg Ragonese, public information office for NDOT, all of the work done up to this point has culminated into a draft report of the I-11 Northern Nevada Alternatives Analysis, a study of the potential routes I-11 could take north of Las Vegas to I-80.

“The report outlines a more refined range of recommended corridors to be carried forward for future planning and environmental review, and we are right now seeking public input on those recommendations and findings outlined in the draft report,” Ragonese said in an email.

NDOT is recommending two routes north of Tonopah move on to be considered in the next phase of planning – both of which will pass through the Fernley area and on to I-80. The two routes are what’s known as B2 and B3 in NDOT’s study. Initially, four routes were considered, with a fifth later being added for consideration, which emerged out of a series of public meetings by NDOT that got underway earlier in 2018.

All five routes considered by NDOT were dubbed as part of what the agency noted as Segment B, where the routes were named B1-B5, and all of the alternative routes started near Tonopah and headed north to I-80. NDOT also had a Segment A in its study, which runs along the U.S. 95 north of Las Vegas toward Beatty and then Tonopah.

The routes were rated by several factors, leading to the elimination of three out of five NDOT wants to consider in future stages, which the agency noted in its draft analysis.

Some of the positives noted on route B2 were good connectivity of economic centers and had the least expected adverse environmental impact, along with other reasonings. B3 was noted as having the best connectivity of economic centers and other positives noted in the draft report.

Both B3 and B2 were marked “not as accommodating of multimodal uses.” B3 also had notes that it had the potential for environmental impacts.

“NDOT is now inviting the public to provide input on the document prior to consideration and potential approval by the State Transportation Board of Directors,” a news release from NDOT stated.

History of I-11

I-11 has already opened in certain portions of Southern Nevada, in the Henderson/Boulder City area in an interstate that has its roots in Congress in the 1990s, which was looking to increase international trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

At that time, Congress worked to designate high-priority corridors in the Intermountain West area, according to NDOT.

“The 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and 1995 National Highway Systems Designation Act identified a series of high-priority corridors for federal funding, including the Canada, U.S., Mexico (CANAMEX) trade corridor. This designation recognizes the importance of the CANAMEX corridor to the U.S. economy, defense and mobility,” according to information on i11study.com.

The work of Congress in the past led to the development of I-11; the road is set to eventually travel from Mexico to the north through Arizona, Nevada and then north toward Canada.

In 2012, the I-11 route from Phoenix to Las Vegas was designated by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The designation was later extended to Nogales, Arizona to the south and from Las Vegas up to Interstate 80 under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015.

The FAST Act did not include funding for I-11.

Voice an opinion

For those looking to view NDOT’s analysis, the draft study of the I-11 Northern Nevada Alternative Analysis can be found at i11Study.com.

All comments can be sent to Kevin Verre, transportation planning analyst at NDOT, at kverre@dot.nv.gov. Comments can also be mailed to 1263 S. Stewart St., Carson City, NV 89712. For mail-in comments, make the letter attention to Kevin Verre, room 205.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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