Monday, September 13, 2010

Building a legacy

You may not think of them as "legacy" projects, but major programs like the Central, Arizona Project, the Salt River Project, the complettion of the I-10, and the creation of the other valley freeways have been critical to the growth and maturation of our community. In the midst of this economic slowdown, eyes have turned to the horizon for the next round of "legacy" projects which could define our economic success for many years to come.

Obviously, $25 billion is not easy to come by, but it is good news that there are already planners with vision of what we want our community to become instead of constantly managing what we already have. From a transportation and infrastructure perspective, it looks like there are some great ideas that could have a lasting impact.

The project that appears to have the most immediate potential would be the I-11 freeway from Phoenix to Las Vegas with connectivity to Salt Lake City and Denver. There are very few ways to get north/south in the mountainous southwest. Though growth has stalled, when it does recover, these cities will be at the forefront once again and these kinds of connections would be greatly beneficial.

The project with the greatest potential impact appears to be the inland port in Phoenix with a connection to a deep water port in Mexico. First, the article explains that the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach are full. Why not allow Arizona to get in on the action? In addition, higher wage jobs at a port in Mexico could help spur opportunities which would potentially help reduce the flow of those fleaing north and entering Arizona illegally.

We're not sure that the high speed rail connections throughout the west would have the same immediate impact (when was the last time some one rode a train), but at least all options are being considered.

The question does remain, how do we find the money to match the vision?

1 comment:

The said...

A road project is not a Legacy! This is a joke for people to think of this. It is not revolutionary or brings any legacy by any means to a community or state. It is infrastructure that gets you from point a to point b…..which is important. Why not a legacy on what AZ is? Why not realize that we live in a desert and cannot afford to continue to plow through the desert for more growth? The valleys legacy is being shortchanged by these visions of freeways, more growth in an area that can’t sustain more sprawl. Why not improve what we have? Why not reinvest into what is failing and falling apart? Why not make our cities look better? They are so ugly, wide streets that are so unattractive being walled off from society. Go to other cities and see those who ride the trains. Also, look at how much community pride is intact to making their cities look great and are attractive. But no, we have to build more sprawl and allow everything else decline. A legacy is changing our cities, our valley into something different, for the better. Not a road that connects us to other cities. Our current legacy now is cheap living with cheap jobs with a bust construction industry. We are not going to compete for long if we continue to ride this cycle.