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Nevada Transportation Board Says I-11 Corridor Vital For Tesla Factory

The proposed Interstate 11 freeway that would connect Phoenix and Las Vegas has cleared another important hurdle. Nevada’s Transportation Board has passed a final feasibility study for the project and mapped out the direction the route would take between Vegas and Reno.

Nevada’s Transportation Board members approved the study Monday and said the freeway would generate economic growth in both states. Nevada Transportation Department spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said the panel also wants I-11 to connect with Interstate 80 that runs east to west across Nevada from Reno to the Utah state line.

"Especially recently, with the announcement of a Tesla battery factory in northern Nevada and this would be just another way to support all of the economic development in the northern part of the state,” Ragonese said.

Tesla Electric Car Company selected the Reno area for its $5 billion factory that would make lithium batteries. Tesla said it would employ about 7,000 people. Arizona was among a few states competing for the plant. Federal funding for the I-11 project has yet to be finalized and is still in the early planning stages.  

News Business
KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Steve Shadley is no stranger to the issues shaping Arizona.