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Sen. Heller says he’ll use infrastructure post to push Interstate 11 ahead

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Tuesday that he would use his new chairmanship of the Senate Finance subcommittee on infrastructure to further efforts to complete an interstate highway from the Mexican border to Canada.

Heller, who was recently named chairman of the Finance Subcommittee for Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure, called the highway a critical project.

“I will utilize this important role to advocate on behalf of Nevada and advance policies that promote infrastructure, like Interstate 11, bolster domestic energy and mineral development and facilitate innovation in the high-tech job sector,” Heller said in a statement.

Proposed I-11 routes through Las Vegas valley (Gabriel Utasi/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gov. Brian Sandoval, also a Republican, has listed building I-11 as one of the top infrastructure priorities in the state.

Interstate 11, when completed, would run from Nogales, Arizona, through Phoenix, Las Vegas and Reno and eventually to Canada. It would be the first major thoroughfare connecting Phoenix, one of the 10 largest U.S. cities, to Las Vegas.

Congress designated I-11 as a priority corridor in 2012, but lawmakers didn’t include funding. Route and environmental impact studies have been conducted since then, but construction has begun on only one segment of the freeway in Nevada — a 15-mile piece extending between U.S. Highway 95 on Henderson’s southern border and U.S. Highway 93 near the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge. That stretch of roadway is expected to be completed next year.

Contact Gary Martin at 702-662-7390 or gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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