Interstate 11 is the designation adopted for the U.S. 93 corridor between Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Future I-11 corridor signs were posted along U.S. 93 south along the Hoover Dam Bypass freeway, and beyond its split with Interstate 40 east by 2014.
The initial portion of Interstate 11 built was the Hoover Dam Bypass, a four mile stretch of freeway traversing the El Dorado Mountains and Colorado River Canyon east of Boulder City. Signed as U.S, 93, the four lane freeway shifted through traffic away from Hoover Dam onto the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The twin-rib concrete arch span opened to traffic on October 19, 2010.
Succeeding sections of I-11 constructed included the Boulder City Bypass. Split into two phases, Phase 2 involved a new terrain route looping 12.5 miles southwest from the interchange with SR 172 (Exit 2) toward Boulder City Municipal Airport (BVU) and the U.S. 95 expressway leading south toward Laughlin. Under the direction of the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada, the $235 million design-build contract for work was awarded in January 2015 and completed October 2018.6
Phase 1 extended the RTC portion of the bypass north from U.S. 95 to Railroad Pass, and upgraded a portion of U.S. 93-95 northwest to Interstate 515. Costing $83 million, work on the 2.5 mile section broke ground in May 2015 and was completed on January 27, 2018.6 It included a new parclo interchange for Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino, and a south side frontage road leading back to Dawson Avenue in Henderson.
Installation of I-11 signs began appearing in Fall 2017 when initial southbound lanes of the bypass were opened to Railroad Pass.5 I-11 formally replaced I-515 from the exchange with I-215/SR 564 southeast once the entire Boulder City Bypass opened. U.S. 93-95 was also realigned onto I-11 following the January 27, 2018 completion of the northbound roadway from the U.S. 95 interchange (Exit 14) to Foothills Drive in Henderson.6 AASHTO ultimately approved this routing on May 29, 2014.
Discussion continues from Nevada politicians for the concept of extending the Interstate 11 corridor beyond Las Vegas to at least Reno or Fallon. Improved freight travel and trade with Mexico are cited as potential benefits of the extension.
North End – Henderson, NV
South End – Hoover Dam / AZ state line
Branch Routes – 0
Total Mileage – 22.845 (22.60*)
Arizona – to be determined
Cities – Phoenix, Wickenburg, Kingman
- Junctions –
Nevada – 14.04
Cities – Boulder, Henderson, Las Vegas
- Junctions –
Source: Nevada DOT 2019 State Maintained Highways of Nevada, Descriptions and Maps
* – December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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 I-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. With efforts starting in 1998, portions near Arizona 68 are already up to Interstate standards.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 in October 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 was completed in January 2018. Lack of funding initially delayed Phase 2 until 20252, but work commenced Spring 2015, and concluded June 2018. The overall bypass project was initially estimated to cost over $600 million.3
As various freeway proposals took shape across the region, local leaders and businesses realized the absence of complete freeway connection between Phoenix and Las Vegas. Efforts coalesced into a new Interstate highway corridor, which ultimately became Interstate 11.1 This route is also part of High Priority Corridor 26, the larger CANAMEX trade corridor.
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 290-mile route was thought to cost anywhere between $4 billion and $10 billion to build.4
North End – Henderson, Nevada
South End – Arizona state line
Interstate 11 ends at the Arizona state line east of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial bridge across the Colorado River.
- Las Vegas-to-Phoenix interstate plan in the works, Las Vegas Sun, by Jean Reid Norman, July 11, 2009
- Meeting planned to discuss changes to Boulder City Bypass, Las Vegas Sun, by Jean Reid Norman, July 6, 2009
- “Asbestos delays work on Boulder City bypass.” Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 10, 2014.
- “Signs mark proposed freeway linking Vegas, Phoenix.” AZFAMILY.COM, March 21, 2014.
- More Interstate 11 signs on the way, Las Vegas Sun, by Mick Akers, September 9, 2017
- “New segment of northbound Interstate 11 set to open.” Las Vegas Sun, January 24, 2018.
- “Southbound I-11 Lanes Opening in Henderson.” KXNT (Las Vegas, NV), August 9, 2017.
Page updated February 16, 2018.