I-11 Public Comment Period Begins
June marked the beginning of ADOT’s 45-day comment period for the forthcoming Interstate 11 that would allow the residents of Arizona to pose questions about the project, potential locations and talk about environmental considerations such as the impact on wildlife and cultural resources.

Interstate 11 will be “a multimodal corridor connecting Arizona with regional and international markets that would open up new opportunities for mobility, trade, job growth and economic competitiveness,” said an ADOT press release. The interstate, which still has to undergo a three-year environmental study, would stretch from Nogales to Wickenburg and may also include rail.
ADOT has published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register, as is required under the National Environmental Policy Act, which is the beginning of the formal environmental study process. Furthermore, six public meetings took place throughout June, and comments can still be sent to I-11ADOTStudy@hdrinc.com or called in at 1-844-544-8049.
The 280-mile I-11 corridor will likely begin at the U.S. 93 from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge south, run west of the Phoenix-metropolitan area, head straight south to the Tucson area and end in Nogales.
“We have the support of partner agencies throughout the study corridor who realize the benefits that I-11 can bring in terms of competitiveness, regional and global connections, and business opportunities through this new freight and travel route,” said Halikowski in a press release.
ADOT began its partnership with the Federal Highway Administration in March. The first step in the three-year study will be to develop an Alternatives Selection Report which will provide a detailed assessment “of corridor alternatives and options, along with opportunities and constraints,” according to ADOT’s website. Additionally, a Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will provide a detailed evaluation of corridor alternatives, including a no-build alternative.
Phase I of the I-11 Begins
NDOT released new video update for Phase I of the I-11 Boulder City Bypass project. The $83-million dollar project will establish four lanes on a concrete interstate freeway that begins at Silverline Road, crosses under the existing railroad, and ends at Foothills Drive.
Interested parties can view the video update on NDOT’s YouTube channel.
The route sees over 34,000 vehicles a day and, according to the NDOT video, the 2.5-mile long project will include the construction of a full diamond interchange at Railroad Pass with a loop ramp, a mile and a half long frontage road, and a 600-foot-long fly over bridge from southbound I-11 to eastbound 93 toward Boulder City.
The NDOT website states that “U.S. 93 is a major regional commercial corridor for interstate and international commerce.” As it stands it is the only route through Boulder City and is a “direct north-south link between Phoenix and Las Vegas.” Additionally, U.S. 93 helps to create a continuous route from Canada to Mexico along with I-19 (Nogales to Tucson) and I-10 (Tucson to Phoenix).
Phase I of the Boulder City Bypass project will see the replanting of 20,000 cacti as well as the construction of a 1,200 foot retaining wall and will reconnect railroad tracks previously severed by U.S. 93 through the construction of a 360-foot long steel truss bridge. Construction is already 50% completed, and NDOT expects it to be done by the end of next year.
Interstate 11’s Phase I began in May 2015 after Fisher Sand and Gravel won a 2014 bid for the project.
South Mountain Freeway subsurface testing to start in West Valley
Crews have started working on the southern alignment of the future Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway and assessment of soil condition and groundwater depth began June 27 along the western alignment at eastbound Interstate 10 from the 59th Avenue on-ramp to the 51st Avenue off-ramp. The assessment will result in shoulder closures from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Information on soil is important to know before highways are built as this ensures longevity and safety in design. Workers will drill roughly 720 borings at depths of 5 to 175 feet and dig ten-feet deep test pits along the freeway and at 45 future bridge and retaining wall locations to better assess underground conditions that will help engineers design the South Mountain Freeway’s 22-mile corridor. They will also collect and analyze materials to create a profile of the terrain. The assessment will result in workers drilling about 29,000 feet in total.
The South Mountain Freeway will run east/west along Pecos Road and north and south near 59th avenue, connecting with I-10 at each end. Projections have the freeway opening by late 2019.
Vertterre Corporation acquired by EEA Consulting Engineers
EEA Consulting Engineers of Austin, Texas recently acquired Albuquerque-based Vertterre Corporation, according to a joint press release. Vertterre’s seven-person agency will join EEA’s Albuquerque-based staff of six to “be a driving force in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering as well as in hydronic master planning, BIM modeling, process utility engineering, commissioning, and energy conservation.”
“We are excited to have Pat McMahon and his talented team join our Albuquerque office to serve New Mexico clients with solution-driven, customer-focused MEP engineering. They are a great fit for our EEA family,” said EEA Founder and President Mike Hart in the press release.
EEA Consulting is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and provides mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services, process utility engineering, energy conservation, and commissioning.
“We are committed to long-term relationships with both our existing clients and prospective ones, and we will continue to be attentive to our client’s needs,” said Vertterre Managing Director Pat McMahon in the joint press release.

Las Vegas City Hall Goes for the Gold
Las Vegas City Hall is now using less than 50% of the energy previously needed in the city’s older City Hall facility and is in the process of LEED Gold Certification, according to a press release from JBA Engineering Consultants.
To take advantage of 292 days of Nevada sunshine, JBA explained that building uses “solar trees”, tall steel structures with photovoltaic (PV) arrays on top. Those structures, along with PV arrays on the roof, offset roughly 10% of the power used by the building.
In addition to installing LED task lighting and high-efficiency glass, JBA’s engineers also designed the plumbing and telecommunications systems for the building, as well as the solar power, electrical distribution and HVAC systems. JBA also contributed to the building’s automation system (BAS), which uses systems from Johnson Controls “to track the performance of the building on a component level plus electric, gas and water usage.” This allows the “Energy Czar” of the city to chart usage and look for ways to improve energy efficiency.
JBA project manager Dave Magdefrau explains on the JBA website that his inspiration comes from the LEED Gold Requirements as “[they] impact everything we do, from the building envelope to insulation, glass, water usage, lighting design, air handling, even the reflectivity of roofing and paving systems.”
Early estimates project the city could save roughly $500,000 in electrical energy and $20,000 on gas. When compared to the old facility, The new City Hall’s efficiencies will also reduce the environmental impact by about 2,400 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, according to the press release.