By Jeanie Hankins
The Town of Wickenburg has revised its recommendation to Arizona Department of Transportation on its preferred route of Interstate 11 as a result of outcry from Vista Royale residents.
In March, ADOT, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, launched the three-year study, including meetings in communities which will be impacted by the highway. Vista Royale residents attended the meeting in Wickenburg and were shocked to see all of ADOT’s proposed routes would cut through a corner of their now-quiet, upscale neighborhood to intersect with US 93 northwest of town. During the meeting, the residents were told by ADOT representatives the Town of Wickenburg had previously recommended I-11 should be built as close as possible to Wickenburg. As a result, Vista Royale residents communicated to Town leadership and the Mayor’s I-11 Task Force that the proposed route is not in their best interest.
Wickenburg’s I-11 Task Force had initially endorsed ADOT’s preferred alternative, but met on May 30 and amended its opinion, now recommending I-11 connect with US 93 at mile post 186, which would route the highway a few miles northwest of Vista Royale. The I-11 Task Force recommendation was approved by Council Monday evening in the form of a resolution. The resolution also recommended I-11 would connect to US 60 west of Wickenburg at milepost 103.5, just east of Black Mountain, but that item was adjusted to milepost 102 (further from town limits) before being approved.
“Once the alignment connects at US 60, the Town supports pushing the roadway toward the west to avoid sound/sight concerns with our residents and surrounding community members,” the resolution states.
Town Manager Vince Lorefice signed a letter to ADOT to be sent with the resolution this week.
Those interested in commenting on the study are encouraged to visit the study website at i11study.com/Arizona and complete an online survey. All feedback, questions and comments will be considered part of the study, are entered into the project record and will help shape the proposed I-11 corridor. Deadline to comment is July 8.
In November 2014, the Arizona and Nevada departments of transportation completed a two-year feasibility study as the first step in the Interstate 11 process. In December 2015, Congress formally designated Interstate 11 from north to south in Arizona through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. While the designation doesn’t include funding, it does make the corridor eligible for federal funding in the future. During the next three years, the public, communities and other stakeholders will have opportunities to comment through regular meetings, community events and other forums. Right now, comments can be sent to:
• Online survey: i11study.com/Arizona/
• Email: I-11ADOTStudy@hdrinc.com
• Toll-free bilingual telephone hotline: 1-844-544-8049
Interstate 11 Tier 1 EIS Study Team
c/o ADOT Communications
1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F
Phoenix, AZ 85007
For more information visit i11study.com/Arizona.