Supervisors vote to oppose west facet freeway | Information

Supervisors vote to oppose west facet freeway | Information

Citing environmental impacts and consequences to Tucson’s existing I-10 companies, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to oppose the route of a achievable new interstate highway west of Tucson that would pass by Avra Valley.

The board passed a resolution on Aug. 16 stating opposition to the proposed Interstate 11 linking Nogales to Wickenburg. The resolution passed in a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Steve Christy opposed.

The resolution follows the release of the Arizona Office of Transportation’s Tier 1 Environmental Effects Statement on July 16 for the west route and several substitute routes. ADOT’s favored alternative is the western solution, which would generate irreversible variations to the landscape by reducing by way of Avra Valley.

Drinking water, soil, and air pollution are predicted to be a direct consequence of creating a new freeway in the Avra Valley and Photograph Rocks location, the Board of Supervisors said in its statement of opposition.

“The positive aspects don’t outweigh the injury that can’t be undone,” Supervisor Adelita Grijalva of District 5 stated. 

Grijalva reported she is opposed to all proposed routes for I-11 for environmental protection. The western route would effect common vacationer places in Tucson these types of as the Saguaro Nationwide Park, Ironwood National Monument, and Tucson Mountain Park. The board’s assertion states the new highway would be shut adequate to hear and see cars from these shielded locations. 

ADOT’s statement shows the western route would also cut via the Bureau of Reclamation’s Tucson Mitigation Corridor. This corridor is reserved for wildlife movement throughout the Central Arizona Undertaking aqueduct. Inserting a freeway there would shrink available land for wildlife


“They maintain coming up with unique ways to attempt to configure this I-11 route and there isn’t any way to do it with no devastating communities and our surroundings,” Grijalva claimed.

Grijalva is also worried with lasting group results.

 “I imagine we need to learn from background,” Grijalva continued. “Where the I-10 is now, we experienced bustling communities there that were being predominantly Latino and Mexican American, that (I-10) devastated that area.”

The board’s resolution reported a new freeway would divert probable consumers from Tucson organizations alongside existing highways and advised the state need to preserve income by expanding recent roads.

Supervisor Steve Christy of District 4 was the only board member to present help for the I-11 west route. As the former chair of the Arizona State Transportation Board, he is adamant to hold Tucson in the loop on new transportation strategies.

“We are getting rid of a great deal of business from Mexico to ports of entry in Texas, I wanted to give us a seat at the desk,” Christy mentioned.

Christy worries that continuing to vote from new highways may perhaps guide to Pima County’s exclusion from point out transportation ideas. Christy said he aided foyer for Southern Arizona to be incorporated in the new border-to-border highway strategies.

Even though this highway would create a new route for cross-border trade, the COVID pandemic has slowed people endeavours. 

“The holdup appropriate now has practically nothing to do with accessibility, it has to do with making sure that both equally our border communities are safe and sound,” Grijalva claimed.

Handful of local community members agreed with Christy. Grijalva mentioned the board gained much more than 100 group letters reiterating opposition to the west route all through the public remark time period.

One of these letters arrived from the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Safety, a area nonprofit group focused on Sonoran desert conservation.

“I do not always invest in that there is a have to have for it,” Govt Director Carolyn Campbell explained. Campbell said ADOT did not offer a immediate response to the Coalition’s concern on need.

Between quite a few of the troubles outlined in the Coalition’s letter were being climate modify and water conservation. “The United Nations climate alter report just arrived out a pair of months ago and it claims it is worse than we believed, it’s crimson alert time,” claimed


The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Weather Modify produced a report on Aug. 9 displaying an unparalleled alter in local weather globally thanks to sustained greenhouse gasoline emissions. The report endorses a fast reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize global temperatures.

Campbell stated that a new freeway would increase carbon emissions, contributing to weather improve.

“If we’re heading to hold it to the one particular-diploma variance in warming, then we have to make some radical adjustments to carbon emissions, like driving,” Campbell explained.

Campbell and Grijalva the two said there are much better choices accessible.

“This is one of people matters that we definitely have to balance sensible and strategic development compared to sprawl, and I do not want Tucson to turn into one more Phoenix or an additional huge metropolitan metropolis,” claimed Grijalva.

Campbell stated the most popular alternative east alternative is the only practical choice. The japanese route would co-find I-11 with I-10 and I-19. Campbell stated they could tunnel I-11 underground to link communities on top rated.

“They did that in Phoenix with a park on the major when they tunneled below Phoenix, kind of building up for the sins of the earlier when they crafted the freeway in the ’60s, which is bisecting barrios, and neighborhoods, notably of bad individuals,” Campbell said.

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