Under a new environmental review process, a highway study to evaluate alternatives to improve regional connectivity, provide an additional way traveling in a growing area of the Sun Corridor, and address current and future transportation needs is underway in Pinal County. The North-South Corridor Study spans about 55 miles between U.S. 60 in Apache Junction and I-10 in Eloy, passing through the city of Coolidge, town of Florence and portions of unincorporated Pinal County along the way. The study also incorporates the extension of State Route 24 from Ironwood Drive to the North-South Corridor.
Currently, there is no funding identified to build the proposed North-South Corridor. The Federal Highway Administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation have transitioned the North-South Corridor Study to be conducted as a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This Tier 1 process is prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and will conclude with a Record of Decision that selects a preferred alternative (a build corridor alternative or the no-build alternative).
This transition to a Tier 1 process allows the timing of final NEPA approval to be more closely correlated with actual timing of project funding and construction, as Tier 2 studies can be completed individually over time as construction funding becomes available. There is currently no funding for Tier 2 studies.
The project will
- address lack of capacity.
- improve the efficiency of existing freeway and arterial street networks.
- improve access to future activity centers.
- enhance transportation system linkages.
- create a more direct connection to the eastern portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
- perform functions and provide services identified in local, regional and statewide plans.
- evaluate potential multimodal facility (rail and utility) opportunities in the area.
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