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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Phoenix I-11 Meeting Report-back

It becomes apparent, attending public meetings about infrastructure such as the future Interstate 11, that the interest is primarily in just being able to say they allowed forums for public input. During the Q & A portion of the public meeting about I-11 in Phoenix on June 25, ADOT's Mike Kies showed his skill in answering questions without actually answering them.

While some of the questions were about the likelihood and timing of specific routes, these questions could not be answered. It was reiterated that the purpose of the meeting was for public feedback on the potential routes--that no specific route had been determined.

Many of the questions could've been answered but we can assume that very few were satisfied with the answers. One question was about how the I-11 relates to the NAFTA highway. Kies essentially said that there is nothing called the NAFTA highway, and that most likely the question was about CANAMEX, but there was no adequate description of the relationship between the I-11 and CANAMEX.

Another question was about the relationship between the I-11 Study consultants and banks and construction companies that could make money off the trade corridor and/or public-private partnerships. Even though these relationships exist and consultants are making money right now, Kies said this question could not be answered yet, probably referring to the fact that there are no specific construction companies contracted at this time. However, it is clear that consultants do have these relationships.

There were a couple questions about a port in Mexico that has been referenced as a potential key part of I-11. Kies stated that this port is not part of I-11. He didn't acknowledge that the Corridor Justification Report mentions the expansion of the Port of Guaymas which is the southern point of the CANAMEX Corridor. While the port may not be part of I-11, there is certainly a relationship and a plan.

Someone asked if, considering the looming water shortage, there should a moratorium on infrastructure projects. Kies seemed to get a little tongue-tied about that question, but essentially said "it's not my job to worry about water." He stated that ADOT's focus is on transportation and they get data from demographers on projected population of the area which they then plan for.

There was a question about border security and it's relationship to I-11 and something about whether MAP-21 was part of AGENDA-21.

A couple questions were answered. One was about the potential of the use of immenent domain to acquire lands for I-11. This is a possibility. Another question was whether pipelines could be part of this multi-modal project and Kies said that there is that potential.

The Q & A period involved writing questions on cards and having them read aloud by a facilitator. It seems this might partly be an attempt to keep critics of the project from becoming acquainted. If the questions are anonymous, people can't get together afterwards to join forces.

A virtual meeting continues until July 18. Post your comments.

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