NAFTA Highway Update

   In the last issue, you read about the proposed northward extension of I-17 to I-15 through canyon country as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (If I’d Wanted to Sell Diesel Fuel...). Since then, Arizona Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) eliminated from study the corridors through Marble Canyon but not those through Page.

   The three remaining proposed routes all come from Flagstaff, pass near Cameron and go to Page. One of those gets there by passing along the east side of the Echo Cliffs to Page. From Page, all three rejoin and head towards Kanab but only one makes it there. One veers northward up Meadow Canyon, another veers northward up Johnson Canyon; both of these eventually join I-15 just north of Panguitch. The third makes it to Kanab before going south to Fredonia, Hurricane, and finally I-15. They eliminated going north from Kanab because of some endangered critters in some pools just north of town.

   At a special city council meeting in Flagstaff, citizens voiced strong opposition to running it through there, despite a city council mostly in favor of the idea. We heard from ADOT that the Kingman route would be 1.2 billion dollars cheaper than the Flagstaff route. Since then, NAFTA has run into some potentially significant legal snags. But, we have a president and many others still strongly pushing passage of the law.