Interstate 11 is the designation adopted for the U.S. 93 corridor between Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Since Interstate 11 would be located east of Interstate 15, it would not be a perfect fit to the grid - but it is probably the best numbering choice available.
Converting U.S. 93 to Interstate 11
U.S. 93 is gradually being upgraded to expressway standards in Arizona, and the October 2010-opened Hoover Dam Bypass offers a freeway link between Arizona and Nevada. If the remainder of U.S. 93 is converted to freeway standards, it could be eligible for inclusion in the Interstate system.
The proposal to convert U.S. 93 into an Interstate corridor comes with the combination of multiple highway projects that extend from Phoenix to Las Vegas, including:
Hassayampa Freeway - from Interstate 10 north to Wickenburg west of the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the Las Vegas Sun, "The Hassayampa Freeway is just lines on a piece of paper so far a planning document for the towns along the corridor to use in their development agreements for the master-planned communities that have permission to build there" (Maricopa Association of Governments).1
U.S. 93 Expressway, Wickenburg to Interstate 40 - upgrade and four-laning of U.S. 93 from Wickenburg to Interstate 40; expansion includes the twinning of the Burro Creek Arch Bridge to four lanes and a bypass of Wikieup. This effort began in 1998 and continues today.1
Interstate 40 Overlap to Kingman - a new freeway to freeway connection to U.S. 93 north would have to be built to link with the expressway en route to Hoover Dam.
U.S. 93 Expressway, Interstate 40 to Hoover Dam - upgrade and four-laning of U.S. 93 from Interstate 40 to Hoover Dam. Portions near Arizona 68 are already up to Interstate standards. This effort began in 1998 and continues today.1
Hoover Dam Bypass (Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge) - freeway bypass south of Hoover Dam over the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada near Boulder City. The bridge was under construction in January 2005 and was completed October 19, 2010.
Boulder City Bypass - Phase 1 (through Railroad Pass to U.S. 95) and Phase 2 (U.S. 95 to Hoover Dam Bypass). Phase 1 has an estimated completion in late 2017 or early 20183 while Phase 2 remains unfunded and is delayed until 2025 or until alternate funding can be identified.2 The project is expected to top $600 million.3
Interstate 515 from Railroad Pass Casino northwest to Interstate 15 in downtown Las Vegas. Interstate 11 would likely replace the Interstate 515 designation.
As local leaders and businesses learned of the various freeway proposals and realized the absence of a freeway connection between Phoenix and Las Vegas, the Interstate 11 idea was born.1 This route is part of the larger CANAMEX trade corridor, which is also High Priority Corridor 26.
Governors Jan Brewer of Arizona, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Rep. Steven Horsford from Nevada gathered to unveil a sign at the Hoover Dam Bypass proclaiming the route as part of the Future Interstate 11 Corridor on March 21, 2014. The Interstate corridor remains in the planning phase, with the 290-mile route thought to cost anywhere between $4 billion and $10 billion to build.4
High Priority Corridor
Proposed Interstate 11 is part of the CANAMEX High Priority Corridor, which is designated as Corridor 26.
Other Future Aspirations
Any extension of Interstate 11 north or northwest of Las Vegas via either the U.S. 93 or U.S. 95 corridor are unlikely given current traffic volumes and projected needs. However, with the rapid pace of growth expected to continue into the future, eventual connections to Reno could happen in the distant future.