Proposed Interstate 11 to link Phoenix and Las Vegas - CBS 5 - KPHO

Proposed Interstate 11 to link Phoenix and Las Vegas

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A plan to link Phoenix to Las Vegas with an interstate highway is being considered right now by transportation leaders in both Nevada and Arizona.

The Interstate 11 proposal is undergoing a two year, $2.5 million study to examine proposed routes, the feasibility of the project and the potential benefits.

"We're at the very first step of a long process," says Laura Douglas with ADOT. "We also need to talk about funding. Right now there's no funding identified to build this particular project."

The interstate could be constructed by adding lanes and safety features to current roadways, but a firm route has not been identified. It is unlikely that decision would come any time soon.

Because of the lack of funding, no options are being ruled out, including establishing the new link between Phoenix and Las Vegas as a toll road.

"And that's something we have to consider and is definitely one of the things that will be considered," says Douglas.

Tourism leaders in Las Vegas tell CBS 5 of their 39 million visitors each year, 9 percent of them are from Arizona. Of that number, 56 percent of them drive.

One advocate of the roadway described the current route to get to and from each city, on Route 93, as "basically a death trap."

NDOT and ADOT leaders held a public meeting to discuss the Interstate 11 proposal on Thursday in Henderson, NV. Those same officials will host a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Phoenix.

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