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  • Sun Corridor, Inc., Pima County officials travel to Washington D.C.,

    Oct 16, 2015 | Read More News
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    sonoran corridorBoard of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson, District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Deputy County Administrator John Bernal are joining officials from Sun Corridor Inc., (formerly TREO) in Washington D.C. next week to meet with members of Congress and Obama Administration officials about economic development initiatives in Southern Arizona.

    The trip, planning for which began in June, is timely as the House of Representatives announced Wednesday that it will be “marking up” the Transportation Bill Oct. 22, just a week before federal transportation funding is set to expire. The bill includes designating the Sonoran Corridor a federal highway, which is a key first step for securing federal funding for the intended auxiliary interstate highway connecting Interstates 19 and 10 south of Tucson International Airport. The entire Arizona Congressional delegation has signed on to support the federal highway designation. Congressional District 2 Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, is leading the designation effort in the House. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also supports the designation.

    In a press release, Rep. McSally said, “This project will be a difference maker for countless families in Southern Arizona, and today’s announcement means we’re one big step closer to making it happen.”

    “[The Sonoran Corridor is] key to advancing Southern Arizona as a leading trade and transportation hub. Since coming to Congress, I’ve focused on areas where we can move the ball forward and actually get things done. That’s what this designation is about, and I’ll continue to work to move it forward,” she said.

    “Markup” is the process by which a bill is amended or rewritten prior to a vote. 

    The Sonoran Corridor is a more than 50,000-acre region surrounding Tucson International Airport in which the county is leading a multi-jurisdictional effort to improve the area’s air, rail and road transportation infrastructure in support of existing major employers, such as Raytheon, and to entice businesses in the logistics, aerospace, tech and bio-tech industries to locate there. 

    A recent economic analysis of the Sonoran Corridor commissioned by Pima County and Sun Corridor Inc., estimates the region at build out could add $32 billion a year to the local economy and support more than 200,000 jobs. 

    Besides the Sonoran Corridor, county and Sun Corridor officials also will speak to federal officials about federal support for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Raytheon, TIA and other regional industries and military installations that rely on federal funding. 

    The trip conflicts with the scheduled Oct. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting. The meeting was intended to be held with a quorum of supervisors Ally Miller, Ramón Valadez and Richard Elías. However Supervisor Elías will not be attending the meeting next week after the passing of his father, Albert Elías Sr., Oct. 15 (See Related Press Release: Albert Elias, father of Dist. 5 Supervisor Richard Elias, passes away). Supervisors Bronson and Carroll are in meetings with federal officials all day Oct. 20 and unable to participate in the board meeting telephonically. Therefore, the Oct. 20 meeting has been cancelled for lack of a quorum. 

    Agenda items for the Oct. 20 meeting have been moved to the next scheduled board meeting, Nov. 10. 

    County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said a special board meeting could be scheduled in the interim if necessary.