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 Id 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.