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Interstate 11

On July 16, 2021, the Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration released the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Interstate 11 (I-11) route from Nogales to Wickenburg. The FEIS identifies TWO possible Preferred Alternatives, a West Option through Avra Valley AND an East Option that co-locates I-11 with I-19 and I-10 through the Tucson region. The 30-day comment period for the FEIS concluded on August 16, 2021.

Notable achievements related to opposing the I-11 West Option include:

*The City of Tucson re-affirmed their 2019 resolution opposing any new freeway in Avra Valley at their meeting on August 10, 2021.

*The Town of Sahuarita Mayor and Council formally opposed the West Option for I-11 at their meeting on August 10, 2021 and subsequently submitted a letter expressing this opposition on August 13, 2021.

*Pima County approved a resolution opposing any new freeway in Avra Valley and the proposed I-11 West Option at their meeting on August 16, 2021. Pima County received over 225 letters from community members supporting this resolution. 

*A diverse array of community organizations submitted comments on the FEIS opposing the I-11 West Option through Avra Valley. See below for links to these comment letters.

We strongly opposed the West Preferred Alternative Option in Avra Valley. We put together a set of talking points that summarize why the West Option should not move forward to the Tier 2 planning stage.

 

Talking points are available as a Google Doc, as a printable PDF, and on a separate webpage.

 

IMPORTANT RESOURCES

The main I-11 FEIS website is at: http://origin.i11study.com/Arizona/

A traditional PDF version of the FEIS (split into multiple documents) can be found at: http://origin.i11study.com/Arizona/Documents.asp

An interactive version of the FEIS can be accessed at: https://i11.ee.alytics.com/I11Arizona-Tier1EIS/

City of Tucson Resolution opposing I-11 in Avra Valley, originally passed in 2019, and reaffirmed by the Tucson City Council on August 10, 2021

Pima County Resolution opposing I-11 in Avra Valley, passed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on August 16, 2021

Letter from the Town of Sahuarita opposing I-11 in Avra Valley, written after the Mayor and Town Council formally opposing the I-11 West Option on August 10, 2021

Background and History of I-11

Links to media articles and published Letters to the Editor about I-11

Past information on the 2019 I-11 Draft Environmental Impact Statement process

 

COMMENTS SUBMITTED ON THE TIER 1 I-11 FEIS

CSDP comments on the Tier 1 I-11 FEIS, co-signed by 24 environmental and community partners

CSDP Comments requesting an extension of the comment deadline from 30 days to 120 days

Comments from Center for Biological Diversity requesting an extension of the comment deadline from 30 days to 120 days

Comments from Friends of Ironwood Forest requesting an extension of the comment deadline from 30 days to 120 days

Dr. Thomas Wiewandt, President of Wild Horizons Publishing, comments on the I-11 FEIs, with a focus on impacts of sound/noise from freeways on wildlife

Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, comments on the I-11 FEIS

U.S. Department of Interior, comments on the I-11 FEIS

Pima County, comments on the I-11 FEIS

Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association, comments on the I-11 FEIS

 

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

1. Write a Letter to the Editor. There was a steady drumbeat of opposition to the proposed I-11 route in the Opinion section of the AZ Daily Star in 2019 and 2021!  Please submit a letter today! The AZ Daily Star will publish letters from individuals after a minimum of 30 days has passed since their last letter was printed so feel free to submit multiple letters over the next few months.  All Letters to the Editor published to date are listed on our Media & Letters to the Editor webpage

The on-line submission form to the AZ Daily Star can be found HERE.

Other regional newspapers also have a Letters to the Editor section. This includes:

Explorer/Marana Newsonline submission form

Green Valley Newsonline submission form 

Inside Tucson Businessonline submission form

Arizona Republiconline submission form

 

2. Write to U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, your U.S. representative, your state senator and representatives, and Governor Ducey to express your opposition to the proposed I-11 route and to ask them to oppose any funding for the Tier 2 process for this project. Contact information for all of these elected officials is outlined below. 

Senator Kyrsten Sinemaonline form, mail addresses, and phone numbers

Senator Mark Kellyonline form, mail addresses and phone numbers

U.S. Representatives – enter your zip code and find contact info HERE

AZ State Senators and Representatives – enter your address and zip code and find contact info HERE

Governor Doug Duceyonline form

 

3. Share information about the Interstate 11 on your social media pages and encourage your friends and family to learn more about this project. Feel free to share any of our posts about this project. Our social media pages can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

 

Thank you for continuing to use your voice and all the available avenues to pressure ADOT and FHWA to make the right choice and abandon the West Preferred Alternative Option in Avra Valley. And thank you for joining us in this important fight on behalf of the people and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert!

 

Photo gallery of lands that would be impacted by the proposed I-11 route. Photos by Frank Staub can be purchased at www.frankstaub.com. Please do not publish or reproduce photos without the photographer’s permission. 

Wasson Peak in the Tucson Mountains. Photo by Frank Staub.

Picture 1 of 20

Photo gallery of wildlife that would be impacted by the proposed I-11 route. Please do not publish or reproduce photos without the photographer’s permission. 

CSDP Conservation Science Director Jessica Moreno was excited to find mountain lion scat in Avra Valley near one of our camera sites. The large home range this mountain lion needs would be fractured forever by a potential new freeway being proposed nearby.

 

Questions? Please reach out to our Associate Director Kathleen Kennedy at Kathleen.Kennedy@sonorandesert.org or leave us a voicemail at (520) 388-9925 and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible!