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Las Vegas-Phoenix highway project wins support of Maryland politician

Written By:

Richard N. Velotta

Meeting with Representative Hoyer (MD)

If Rep. Steny Hoyer wasn’t a backer of the proposed multibillion-dollar Interstate 11 project before he came to Nevada Monday, he is now.

Hoyer, D-Md., the Democratic whip of the House, met for an hour with representatives of Southern Nevada’s business community, vowing to support infrastructure investment, including efforts to fund projects for an interstate highway that would connect the two largest cities in the country without one, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

But there’s one critical roadblock: Lawmakers must first approve MAP-21 — the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that has funded surface transportation for the past two years. MAP-21 expires Sept. 30 and supporters of an extension fear the legislation could get bogged down by budget sequestration, the legal procedure by which budget cuts are automatically triggered. Sequestration resulted in a government shutdown and contentious debate in 2013.

Hoyer was invited to Las Vegas by Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., to hear directly from business people supportive of I-11. Among the participants were representatives of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and the Urban, Latin and Asian chambers of commerce. Representatives of the Regional Transportation Commission and the Nevada Department of Transportation also participated.

Many of the participants also are members of the I-11 Coalition, a nonprofit organization of Nevada and Arizona government and business leaders supporting what would be a multiphase project to connect Mexico with Canada through Phoenix and Las Vegas. Work already is underway for a small piece of the project, a 15-mile bypass around Boulder City.


Las Vegas Review-Journal