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  • Entire AZ Congressional delegation, Gov. Ducey support Sonoran Corridor

    Jun 23, 2015 | Read More News
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    Sen. John McCain and Rep. Martha McSally today cosponsored legislation to designate the Sonoran Corridor as part of the future interstate highway system. Every other member of Arizona's Congressional delegation has cosponsored the bill, demonstrating the broad, bipartisan support this important and vital economic development effort has among state and regional leaders.

    The Sonoran Corridor (Arizona State Route 410) is a proposed 16-mile Auxiliary Interstate connecting the Southwest’s major trade route from Northwest Mexico, the Canamex Highway, Interstate 19, to the only all-weather east-west Interstate highway, Interstate 10. 

    The planned location of the highway is south of the Tucson International Airport and includes a similar connection from the only rail line between Arizona and Mexico (Nogales Line) to the Union Pacific’s main East-West Sunset Line. 

    The close proximity of the Port of Tucson (Arizona’s only active Inland Port) to the Sonoran Corridor and International air freight capability at the Tucson International Airport creates an ideal multimodal logistics hub of the southwest capable of facilitating increased trade with Asia, Mexico, as well as Central and South America.

    Designating the corridor as part of the interstate highway system is a crucial requirement for consideration of future funding for construction of the auxiliary highway.

    Pima County first proposed the corridor in 2012 as an outgrowth of the county's effort to protect Raytheon Missile Systems from housing encroachment and increased traffic near the defense plant.

    hughes access roadIn April, the county broke ground on the relocation of Hughes Access Road as part of the Raytheon support effort. Sen. McCain, Rep. McSally, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other state and regional leaders attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

    There are multiple facets to the corridor. Besides the auxiliary highway, there is the proposed expansion of Tucson International Airport, a new section of the Union Pacific Railroad, completion of the Aerospace Parkway (the relocated Hughes Access Road), and the planning and development of an aerospace, defense and technology business park.

    In a memo to the Board of Supervisors today, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote: "I would like to thank Senators McCain and Flake and Congresswomen McSally and Kirkpatrick, Congressman Grijalva, and the rest of the Congressional Delegation for their efforts to advance this important element of our Economic Development Plan. The new Sonoran Corridor interstate highway will foster increased trade with Mexico; develop a logistics hub for the Southwest; and substantially increase aerospace, defense and high-tech manufacturing employment within the region."

    Developing the Sonoran Corridor will take many years and the cooperation and support of federal, state and local governments, as well as the business community and citizens and voters of the county.

    Text of Sen. McCain's press release:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    June 23, 2015

    McCAIN, FLAKE & McSALLY INTRODUCE BILL TO DESIGNATE MAJOR TRADE ROUTE IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA
     
    Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ) today introduced in the Senate and House, respectively, the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act of 2015, legislation that would designate the Sonoran Corridor as a future interstate to connect Interstate 19 to Interstate 10 south of the Tucson International Airport.
     
    “The Sonoran Corridor project will have a significant impact on state, regional, and national commerce by connecting major trade routes and improving transportation along the CANAMEX Corridor and the future Interstate 11,” said Senator McCain. “It will allow produce, products, and people to move more efficiently, and ensure Arizona remains a key player in the future economic growth of the southwestern United States. This corridor will also serve as home to a burgeoning technology, aerospace, and defense industrial park, which will enable Arizona to continue advancing new innovations and support our state’s economic development well into the future.”
     
    “I am pleased to support efforts by Pima County and the state of Arizona to improve trade and commerce with Mexico and the nation,” said Senator Flake. “I hope Congress acts quickly to recognize the corridor's potential.”
     
    “The number one priority I hear about from Southern Arizonans is creating more economic opportunity for our region, and that’s just what this bill would do,” said Rep. McSally. “Construction of the Sonoran Corridor would help us attract more defense, aerospace, and tech businesses to our region and reduce congestion locally, while expanding trade connectivity for the Southwestern United States and Mexico. This high-priority project is a vital part of Southern Arizona’s future success as a leading international trade and transportation hub, and I will continue working with my colleagues to move this plan forward.”
     
    Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and leaders from across Pima County also praised the legislation:
     
    “Congresswoman McSally, Senators McCain and Flake, and the rest of our congressional delegation have my full support in this effort,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “By enhancing high priority trade corridors, including Interstate 11, and significantly reducing travel time and trucking costs, the Sonoran Corridor will create jobs, strengthen Arizona’s global competitiveness and send a strong message that Arizona is open for business.”
     
    “This is all about jobs,” said Sharon Bronson, Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair. “Pima County and Tucson are perfectly situated to be the logistics hub of the Southwest. We need all of our local, state, federal and business community partners to all work together to capitalize on this opportunity and make it a reality. Which is why I’m thrilled that our Congressional delegation and Governor Ducey have rallied around the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act and will work together to have the Congress designate the corridor a future part of the interstate highway system.”
     
    “The Sonoran Corridor will eliminate a bottleneck on the critical I-19 to I-10 trade route between Arizona and Mexico, improve connectivity between multimodal logistics hubs, and provide much better access to two of Tucson and Southern Arizona's largest employers: Raytheon Missile Systems and the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “Its construction will provide many economic benefits to our state and region, and I appreciate the efforts of Representative McSally, Senators McCain and Flake, and co-sponsoring Representatives Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Gallego, Sinema, Schweikert and Franks to prioritize this project.”
     
    “The Tucson Metro Chamber commends Senator McCain, Senator Flake and Congresswoman McSally for proposing this designation of a vital surface transportation route that is central to the developing transportation and logistics industries in Southern Arizona,” said Michael Varney, President and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. “The Interstate route connecting I-19 to I-10 south of Tucson International Airport is a key component in economic development for this region.”
     
    “The Tucson Hispanic Chamber and our affiliated chambers in Nogales, Douglas and Sierra Vista applaud Congresswoman McSally and Senators McCain and Flake for their leadership with the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act,” said Lea Márquez Peterson, President of Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The passage of this bill will enhance the importance of a key trading route from Mexico to the United States.”
     
    The Sonoran Corridor will create an alternative route that will enable the hundreds of thousands of freight vehicles traveling through the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales each year to avoid having to pass through the congested city of Tucson to reach major trade routes using I-10. This development is estimated to reduce total travel by 12 miles and 20 minutes per truck, connecting southern Arizona to agricultural regions, infrastructure and manufacturing centers, and existing high priority corridors of the National Highway System. The Sonoran Corridor will also be home to the new Aerospace Parkway next to Tucson International Airport, which has the potential to become one of the largest manufacturing and logistics hubs in the Southwest.
     
    The Sonoran Corridor would also help to connect the Intermountain West Corridor and future Interstate 11, which will open travel from Mexico to Canada and increase trade and job opportunities for Arizonans. In March, Senators McCain and Flake introduced the Intermountain West Corridor Development Act of 2015, which would extend the I-11 through the State of Nevada to Interstate-80 and south toward Arizona’s southern border.