Comments sought on North-South Corridor environmental study

A map of the corridor. (Graphic courtesy of ADOT)

As the North-South Corridor environmental study progresses with some changes to the proposed corridor alternatives, the Arizona Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, is now seeking comments on the options from the public and agencies, according to a press release.

There have been several changes to the study since 2014, when the last formal public comment period was held. Most notable is the switch to a different environmental review process – a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. This tiered environmental study will establish the selected alternative, while funding is pursued for further studies.

During the previous project-level environmental review in late 2014, an Alternatives Selection Report was presented. Since that time, some of the proposed alternative corridors have been modified to avoid sensitive resources. Those modified alternative corridor options are now ready for review via an online mapping and comment tool that can be accessed at azdot.gov/NorthSouthCorridorStudy.

The North-South Corridor, spanning more than 40 miles between U.S. Highway 60 and Interstate 10 in Pinal County, includes multiple proposed alternative corridors with segment options throughout, along with the no-build alternative. The online mapping tool allows users to drop a pin and comment on a specific area, or provide general comments on the study corridor. The comment period runs for 30 days. All comments received by Dec. 14 will be entered into the Corridor Selection Report for this phase of work. However, comments are encouraged through all phases of the process. Comments can also be provided via e-mail, postal mail or by telephone.

The planned North-South Corridor would accommodate anticipated growth in the study area and across the larger region; improve access to future activity and population centers; and improve regional connectivity. As part of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, ADOT and FHWA would also identify a corridor that would extend State Route 24 from Ironwood Drive and connect with the North-South Corridor.

The Tier 1 environmental study process will conclude with a Record of Decision by the Federal Highway Administration. The document will allow a project-level Tier 2 environmental study process to move forward, once funding is secured. The no-build alternative could also be selected.

If the North-South Corridor advances, the project could be built in full or in phases, once funding has been identified for construction.

A public hearing will be held once the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement is published and ready for comment. The Tier 1 environmental study is expected to be complete in 2020.

Comments can be sent to northsouth@azdot.gov, the ADOT Project Information Line at 1-855-712-8530 or by mail to: North-South Corridor Study Team, c/o ADOT Communications, 1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Comments must be received by Dec. 14 to be included in the Corridor Selection Report.

For more information on the North-South Corridor Study, visit azdot.gov/NorthSouthCorridorStudy.

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