Interstate 11 Open
A new Interstate highway hadn’t opened in the United States since 1992, but that has now changed. The first portion of I-11 has now opened between the Arizona border and Henderson, NV. This small portion of a highway that will eventually span from Mexico to Canada will also be eventually tasked with linking Las Vegas & Phoenix which are the two largest cities in the country not linked by interstate.
Before this section of I-11 (also known as the Boulder City Bypass) opened, upwards of 30,000 cars per day had to pass through Boulder City on their way from Nevada to Arizona. As you can see, the new highway bypasses the town completely.
This new project cost over $300 million and is said to save up to 30 minutes on the drive between Arizona and Vegas. I would say 30 minutes is optimistic, but perhaps it could save that much during the absolute peak time when Boulder City would get completely overrun with cars and large trucks.
I had the opportunity to drive the new I-11 yesterday and it was pretty cool. Along the route they have positioned artwork that tells the story of the area and at certain points drivers are awarded with stunning views of the lake and the mountains the highway cuts through. In certain spots it was quite a bit steeper than I thought it would be. It’s a fun and scenic drive!
As someone who travels to Arizona a couple of times a year, I appreciate the new option. It’s a beautiful new stretch of road and the beginning of a much needed link to Phoenix. It will eventually take decades to finish I-11 but hopefully the Phoenix to Vegas portion will not take so long.
You can find some awesome construction photos along with a pretty amazing time lapse video here.
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