Silver (state) bullet

A proposed Mexico-to-Canada highway gets mixed reactions.

  • The proposed route of Interstate 11 through Arizona and Nevada.

    Eric Baker

It'll carry Mexican produce north, put rural towns on the map and transform isolated cities into transportation hubs. But though funding for Interstate 11 is non-existent and construction still decades away, opposition to the Mexico-to-Canada corridor – the first new interstate since I-70 was completed in 1992 – is already gathering steam. "We know freeways drive development and sprawl," says Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon chapter. "And we already have huge air-quality problems in the Phoenix area."

Or, as Tonopah, Nev., business owner Ron Browning grumbled to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "By the time they get a freeway built, we'll be flying cars."

A section linking Phoenix and Las Vegas – the largest adjacent major U.S. cities not joined by an interstate – is the top priority, with planning underway. Supporters cite economic benefits, safer driving and decreased traffic jams. But along less-developed routes north of Vegas and south of Phoenix, the response is less enthusiastic. In Picture Rocks, Ariz., retiree Albert Lannon enjoys sleeping on a futon outside his doublewide, listening to great horned owls. "I'd hate to listen to the sounds of traffic instead," he says.

SOURCES: Nevada Department of Transportation, Las Vegas Review-Journal,

John R DeCoville
John R DeCoville Subscriber
Mar 11, 2014 02:46 PM
Yes, yes, I know that more freeways mean more sprawl but other forms of transportation such as rail, bike trails, etc, etc. are not being provided. I also believe that Susanville in NE California near NW Nevada, U.S. Highway 395 and access to Death Valley National Park and the California major parks such as Sequoia would be helped by better transportation. I want, of course, the addition of a freeway such as Interstate 11 to include separated bike-way, hiking and horse pathways. Every highway must include wildlife over and underpasses. in addition to Interstate 11, I want Interstate 70 to be be credibly completed. Seer? MORE roads, paths and wildlife through-ways , not less!!!

Anytime an interstate is being built, that is the time to consider all the needs of rural communities and parks being impacted.

Thank you!
Nolan Patrick Veesart
Nolan Patrick Veesart
Mar 13, 2014 11:14 AM
It's 2014; the planet is burning up. So of course, let's build another Interstate Highway. Brilliant!
Jim Vance
Jim Vance
Mar 14, 2014 09:40 AM
Yet another boondoggle proposed by (and intrinsically for primary benefit to) the "build it and they will come" induced-development insider-syndication political-kickback schemers who have become quite wealthy and a very powerful business lobby which became franchised across the entire US and many other countries over the past century of roadbuilding.
W John Faust
W John Faust Subscriber
Mar 16, 2014 10:01 PM
My guess is that the automobile and the highway system represent the worst decision techno-man has ever made. The sprawl, the energy, the pollution, the dissecting of the wildlands, ... . Now we have global warming and the sixth mass extinction.