Stop CANAMEX, Stop the Intermountain West Corridor and I-11! Stop the Sun Corridor! Stop the 202!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Status of CANAMEX

some updates below were added 12/9/2013

While in many ways CANAMEX already exists, in that existing highways (and other modes of transportation) are used to facilitate international trade, it is not considered completed until it is much more efficient.  It is a slow process, perhaps slowed by lack of funding, and without lots of research it is difficult to tell if anything is happening at all, especially since the CANAMEX Coalition seems to no longer exist.  Compiled below are some pieces of CANAMEX that have come together, or are in the process.  As you will notice, several moves have been made just this past year.
If you do your own research or follow the news, keep in mind that the term "CANAMEX" may not necessarily be used.  It is more than likely that if you see the term "trade corridor" in reference to Arizona-related transportation, it is referring to CANAMEX.
As stated in "Highway to Hell?" pro-CANAMEX organizations such as the Arizona-Mexico Commission are heavily involved in much if not all of this, particularly the newer Arizona-based TTCA and AIDA (see below).

Port of Guaymas, Mexico
"In 2004, an [Arizona-Mexico Commission] Transportation Committee study investigated and assessed the viability of the Port of Guaymas as a potential maritime addition to the Canamex Corridor. In 2008, cruise ships began docking in the now deepwater port" (Source).
Update 12/2013: The Port of Guaymas is slated to double in size in the next couple years.  (Source).

Hoover Dam Bypass/Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
"The Hoover Dam Bypass is a critical link in the CANAMEX Corridor – a transportation and economic development ‘highway’ that is vital to the people of Arizona and the western U.S." – Victor Mendez, Director Arizona Department of Transportation, 2004 (Source).
From the CANAMEX wikipedia page: "...the route of U.S. Route 93 across northwestern Arizona, which at the time included a slow windy route over the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam Bypass opened in December 2010 resolving this issue." (Source).
"Traffic volume is expected to increase 50% over the next 20 years for this section of U.S. Highway 93, which is part of the CANAMEX Corridor—a high-priority trade route that is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada."
Illia, Tony; Cho, Aileen (7 December 2009). "Buffeted by High Winds and Setbacks, a Bypass Is Making History Near Hoover Dam". Engineering News-Record (New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies) 263 (18): 18. ISSN 0891-9526/92

See also the I-11 Timeline

Boulder City Bypass
"Boulder City’s city council recently passed a resolution removing US-93 as part of Canamex in favor of a new bypass around Boulder City to be built later." (2010, Source).
According to a December 13, 2012 article, "The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has issued a request for information for a $330 million 19.3km stretch of the proposed Boulder City Bypass. Feedback is due Monday, exactly one month before a planned meeting 17 January..." (Source). 

"The first three miles of the bypass will be funded by NDOT, but the next 12 miles, costing between $350 and $450 million, will have to come from an outside company in a public-private partnership...
"The bypass could become part of an even bigger project - Interstate 11... Portions of I-11 could become public-private partnerships, according to Rosenberg, meaning additional toll roads.
Tolls look to be the fastest option to getting both projects built.
According to the RTC, federal funding for the Boulder City bypass wouldn't come until 2035.
Estimates with the public-private partnership have the bypass finished sometime between 2018 and 2019." (2012, Source).
See also: Boulder City/CANAMEX Bypass
Update 12/2013: The Boulder City Bypass has been incorporated into the plans for Interstate 11 and is referred to as the I-11 Loop, but seems likely to be prioritized in terms of construction while other aspects of I-11 are being studied.  A public-private partnership involving a toll-road was being studied, and legislation passed to make it an option (source), but was abandoned in favor of a gas tax increase (Source).

"... the CANAMEX corridor is composed of a myriad of existing Interstate corridors and state highways, and is not a continuous route due to a gap in the designation between I-10 and US 93. Implementation of the Corridor can fill this gap – allowing significant commerce, tourism and international trade opportunities across the Western United States." (Source).
"U.S. representatives from Arizona and Nevada... say I-11 is the missing piece in the Canamex Corridor...  According to the Canamex Corridor Coalition’s website, the corridor extends from Nogales, AZ, to Phoenix, northwest to Las Vegas, picking up I-15 to Salt Lake City, through Idaho Falls, ID, and through Montana to the border with Alberta, Canada. The portion linking Phoenix and Las Vegas is currently designated as U.S. Route 93, but it would become I-11 if the designation remains in the highway bill." (Source). (The highway bill mentioned is probably MAP-21, which was recently passed and is discussed below.
In July, 2012, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) amended TEA-21--defining US93 between Phoenix and Las Vegas as a high priority corridor and designating it as future Interstate 11 (I-11)" (Source).
"This bill would speed up funding for studying, engineering, and possibly building the highway, but it could still take a decade or two to complete. The high price tag makes I-11 in Arizona a leading candidate to become Arizona's first toll road. The legislature passed a law in 2009 that opened the door for private investors to team up with the Arizona Department of Transportation" (Source).

See also the I-11 Timeline

"The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is a funding and authorization bill to govern United States federal surface transportation spending. It was passed by Congress on June 29, 2012, and President Barack Obama signed it on July 6" (Source).
This image is not part of MAP-21 as originally thought.
As you can see on the map, the route in yellow includes the CANAMEX Corridor.
"Congress recently passed a new, two-year federal highway bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (or MAP-21), that not only gives priority funding to these ‘high priority’ trade corridors, it also makes it easier to hand them over to private corporations using controversial public private partnership (P3) toll contracts... The three proposed NAFTA international trade corridors that connect with Mexico and Canada that are of primary interest in MAP-21 are: TTC-69/I-69 (from Laredo, Texas to Port Huron, Michigan), Canamex (from Arizona to Montana), and Ports to Plains (from Laredo to North Dakota). Three particular sections of the bill specifically advance the corridors. Several additional sections prioritize them through secondary means." (Source).

The Arizona Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance was announced by Governor Brewer at a plenary session in February of 2012, and Jim Kolbe of the Arizona-Mexico Commission was added as co-chair (joining ADOT's Halikowski) in July (Source). It "will study border infrastructure, border-entry capacity and competitiveness in Arizona and its Mexican sister state of Sonora" (Source).
According to the minutes the July 25, 2012 MAG meeting, “Gail Lewis, Director of the Office of P3 Initiatives and International Affairs of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), reported on the Arizona Transportation & Trade Corridor Alliance... Ms. Lewis stated that the Alliance is heavily private sector and includes representatives from APL, Avnet, UPS, BNSF, W. L. Gore, port authorities, growers and brokers, Mexican manufacturers, Arizona Trucking Association, Sky Harbor Airport, and several of the state’s councils of governments and metropolitan planning organizations..Ms. Lewis stated that the new federal transportation legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)... She said that it requires that state departments of transportation develop a freight plan and suggests that each state have a freight advisory committee. Ms. Lewis stated that the Alliance fills the federal requirements, which give the Alliance a set of substantive responsibilities..” [my emphasis] (Source).
Update 12/2013: No other source had linked TTCA directly to CANAMEX by name until now.  The Arizona-Mexico Commission, of which Jim Kolbe is the CANAMEX expert, and John Halikowski of ADOT is member, says the following on their website: "the Arizona Governor’s Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA)... encompasses the former CANAMEX Task Force." (Source).

The Arizona International Development Authority had their first meeting in June of 2012.  From the August 17, 2012 State Transportation Board Meeting: "AIDA was established by the Legislature back in the mid-90s, it never really formed until their first meeting in June of this year...The difference between AIDA and TTCA is AIDA will include the development, financing and or operation of infrastructure projects located within 62 miles north or six miles south of the Arizona-Mexico border. AIDA is empowered to enter into contracts and agreements, including partnerships and joint ventures with. US and Mexican public and private entities. They can also acquire, operate, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of projects and can issue revenue bonds in order to finance its operations. The financing for AIDA will come from the International Development Authority Fund, which consists of monies from multiple sources including tolls, fees, rents revenues, interest, gifts, grants, donations, and appropriations from the State and Federal Government. The bad news at this time is there are no funds appropriated to AIDA..." (Source).
See also: AIDA

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