Workers installed signs along the route of the future Interstate 11 over the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation

Saying, “They are just signs, but they say a lot,” the Arizona Department of Transportation erected signs marking the future Interstate 11 corridor between Phoenix and Las Vegas over the weekend.

Four “Future I-11” signs were installed along U.S. 93, the proposed path of the new interstate, north of Phoenix leading to the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge.

The Phoenix-Las Vegas corridor was singled out for an I-11 designation in the 2012 federal transportation bill. That has been a source of contention for some business and political leaders in Southern Arizona, since the interstate is supposed to facilitate trade with Mexico.

“Efforts are ongoing to secure the same recognition — and perhaps some preliminary funding — for segments stretching south to Mexico and north to Canada,” ADOT said in a statement.

“I-11 will be the first direct trade route from western Mexico to Canada through our two great states,” Gov. Jan Brewer said. “We know transportation is a primary driver of commerce and tourism – and we should continually seek to enhance our economic competitiveness by facilitating the movement of goods and people through a direct Mexico-to-Canada interstate. I-11 will pay dividends in fostering this crucial mission and boosting important international partnerships.”

The Arizona and Nevada transportation departments have been working since 2012 on the Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study. The initial study is expected to be complete this year, but no funding has been identified for construction.

Aside from ADOT and the Nevada Department of Transportation, partners in the study include the Maricopa Association of Governments, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration.

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