McSally, McCain, & Flake Introduce Bill to Designate Major Trade Route in Southern Arizona
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ) and U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced in the House and Senate, respectively, the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act of 2015, legislation that would designate the Sonoran Corridor Interstate and connect Interstate-19 to Interstate-10 south of the Tucson International Airport.
“The number one priority I hear about from Southern Arizonans is creating more economic opportunity for our region, and that’s just what this bill would do,” said Rep. McSally. “Construction of the Sonoran Corridor would help us attract more defense, aerospace, and tech businesses to our region and reduce congestion locally, while expanding trade connectivity for the Southwestern United States and Mexico. This high-priority project is a vital part of Southern Arizona’s future success as a leading international trade and transportation hub, and I will continue working with my colleagues to move this plan forward.”
“The Sonoran Corridor project will have a significant impact on state, regional, and national commerce by connecting major trade routes and improving transportation along the CANAMEX Corridor and the future Interstate-11,” said Senator McCain. “It will allow produce, products, and people to move more efficiently, and ensure Arizona remains a key player in the future economic growth of the southwestern United States. This corridor will also serve as home to a burgeoning technology, aerospace, and defense industrial park, which will enable Arizona to continue advancing new innovations and support our state’s economic development well into the future.”
"I am pleased to support efforts by Pima County and the state of Arizona to improve trade and commerce with Mexico and the nation,” said Senator Flake. “I hope Congress acts quickly to recognize the corridor's potential."
This vital trade corridor will enable the hundreds of thousands of freight vehicles traveling through the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales each year to avoid having to pass through the congested city of Tucson to reach major trade routes using I-10. This development is estimated to reduce total travel by 12 miles and 20 minutes per truck, connecting Southern Arizona to agricultural regions, infrastructure and manufacturing centers, and existing high priority corridors of the National Highway System. The Sonoran Corridor will also be home to the new Aerospace Parkway next to Tucson International Airport, which has the potential to be one of the largest manufacturing and logistics hubs in the Southwest.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson, and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild also praised the legislation:
"Congresswoman McSally, Senators McCain and Flake, and the rest of our congressional delegation have my full support in this effort,” Governor Ducey said. “By enhancing high priority trade corridors, including Interstate 11, and significantly reducing travel time and trucking costs, the Sonoran Corridor will create jobs, strengthen Arizona’s global competitiveness and send a strong message that Arizona is open for business.”
“This is all about jobs,” said Sharon Bronson, Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair. “Pima County and Tucson are perfectly situated to be the logistics hub of the Southwest. We need all of our local, state, federal and business community partners to all work together to capitalize on this opportunity and make it a reality. Which is why I’m thrilled that our Congressional delegation and Governor Ducey have rallied around the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act and will work together to have the Congress designate the corridor a future part of the interstate highway system.”
“The Sonoran Corridor will eliminate a bottleneck on the critical I-19 to I-10 trade route between Arizona and Mexico, improve connectivity between multimodal logistics hubs, and provide much better access to two of Tucson and Southern Arizona's largest employers: Raytheon Missile Systems and the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “Its construction will provide many economic benefits to our state and region, and I appreciate the efforts of Representative McSally, Senators McCain and Flake, and co-sponsoring Representatives Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Gallego, Sinema, Schweikert and Franks to prioritize this project.”
"The Tucson Metro Chamber commends Senator McCain, Senator Flake and Congresswoman McSally for proposing this designation of a vital surface transportation route that is central to the developing transportation and logistics industries in Southern Arizona,” said Michael Varney, President and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. “The Interstate route connecting I-19 to I-10 south of Tucson International Airport is a key component in economic development for this region."
"The Tucson Hispanic Chamber and our affiliated chambers in Nogales, Douglas and Sierra Vista applaud Congresswoman McSally and Senators McCain and Flake for their leadership with the Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act,” said Lea Márquez Peterson, President of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The passage of this bill will enhance the importance of a key trading route from Mexico to the United States."
To view a PDF of the bill text, click HERE.