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Keeping An Eye On I-11, Part Two

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Thursday we introduced you to I-11, a potential interstate link between Phoenix and Las Vegas, but with the intent to be a thoroughfare between Mexico and Canada.

When the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation prefer US-95, it's time to break out the numbers, if you're a supporter of US-93.

"You're to reduce the amount of highway development because it's a shorter distance. You're saving 300 and something miles of highway improvement costs, which at 20 million dollars a mile, you're looking at 6 billion dollars right off the back, without taking in consideration the 100 plus obstacles you'd have to address rather than going up 93," explains James Garza.

Garza, Director of Community and Economic Development for White Pine County, Nevada, explains there are 142 obstacles facing the route between Las Vegas and Eugene, while there are only 41 between Las Vegas and Twin Falls.

"In the city of Ely, you're going to have to go around Ely because our downtown is too tight, but we do have the land mass available to go around the valley... you're looking at a new bridge in Twin Falls that will have to be crossed, there's several highway crossings that either need to be an under or overpass where you're not going to traffic at stop signs coming to the highway. You're going to have some areas that will need to widened," he says.

"We can't put that highway through the city of Twin Falls because there would be a bottleneck, so we told them, and we anticipate it would follow the new 93 and go straight ahead for the third crossing like we've looked at and discussed earlier," explains Twin Falls County Commissioner George Urie.

But the State of Idaho’s standing with the corridor is still up in the air.

"This is all pretty much dependent on Nevada, what Nevada decides," Urie says.

"ITD will be supportive and be in the front of trying to do what we can to assist the planning process and increase the economic opportunities for Idahoans," says Nathan Jerke, Idaho Transportation Department.

"It's very important that the IDOT reach out to the NDOT and ADOT and express their interest and support in US 93 being the alternative instead of US 95," Garza explains.


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