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Freeway construction to connect Las Vegas and Phoenix begins | News

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Freeway construction to connect Las Vegas and Phoenix begins
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BOULDER CITY, Nev. - The first phase of the Interstate 11 project that would connect Las Vegas and Phoenix breaks ground Monday.

Phoenix and Las Vegas are the two largest cities in the country not linked by an interstate.

The $318 million project will begin with a 15-mile, four-lane stretch from Silverline Road to the Hoover Dam Bridge. Interstate 11 will start at the end of I-515, loop south of Boulder City and connect to the Hoover Dam Bypass.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says the corridor currently sees 34,000 cars and trucks daily. Experts say the new interstate will relieve some of that traffic going through Boulder City.

It will also save an estimated 30 minutes of drive time between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“This is key in establishing southern Nevada's international trade corridor – bringing truck traffic and goods as well as people here more expediently, safer, quicker and better,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia.

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce says connecting the two cities with an interstate will enable better links between economic partners.

“It puts us much closer, in terms of time and connectivity, to Mexico, to Texas, to another route to California,” said Cara Clarke with the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

NDOT says the Federal Highway Administration will fund most of the project. Approximately $27 million comes from fuel revenue index funds and other state sources. The project will create an estimated 4,000 new jobs.

Officials say it is expected to be completed by 2018.

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