First public meeting held on proposed Phoenix-Vegas interstate - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

First public meeting held on proposed Phoenix-Vegas interstate

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PHOENIX -

A lot of people like to go to Las Vegas, but if you've ever driven there from the valley, you know there's no direct route. But that could change.

There's talk about a new freeway linking the valley to Sin City.

Phoenix and Las Vegas are the only two major cities in the country that do not have a direct route linking them, but the proposed Interstate 11 could change that.

It could be decades before the first car would ever drive on it, but the prospect of a freeway linking the valley to Las Vegas was enough to bring people out to a public meeting Tuesday night to find out more.

"A quicker travel time between Phoenix and Vegas -- but also the added benefit of tourism, more trade, more commerce, higher benefits for connecting economies and communities," says Lauren Douglas.

Right now, getting to Las Vegas requires taking streets from the northwest valley to Wickenburg. Then US 93 through Kingman, over the Hoover Dam, and then onto city streets just outside of Vegas.

The proposed Interstate 11 would be direct shot from the valley to the strip.

"We are seeing a lot of public support including starting at the top with Jan Brewer, a lot of support from policymakers, regional planners, the public in general," says Douglas.

ADOT and the Nevada Department of Transportation are in the beginning stages of a 2 year study.

"This is a time to start talking about how to fund this corridor if it moves forward, whether it's federal money, state money, public private partnerships, the concept of a toll road system has been floated out there, or a combination."

A decision could be many years away, and completion could be more than 20 years away.

Monday was the first public meeting. There will be many more.

Online: www.i11study.com

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