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The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) last week released a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for a passenger-rail project between Tucson and Phoenix.The document provides more details on the costs, impacts and benefits of the proposed project, which currently has no identified funding, ADOT officials said in a press release. In particular, the DEIS analyzes two rail alternatives as well as a no-build option. One route, known as the "Yellow Alternative," would serve the East Valley communities and central Pinal County, and could share right of way with Union Pacific Railroad north of Eloy, ADOT officials said.The "Orange Alternative" would also serve East Valley population centers and share part of its alignment with the proposed North-South freeway corridor in Pinal County.Both alternatives would run primarily within the Interstate 10 corridor between Eloy and Tucson.ADOT's Passenger Rail Corridor Study, as the project is formally known, is part of the department's long-range plan to determine which transportation options will help meet the demands for future growth and travel to complement I-10, which is one of the state's busiest highways. The department has scheduled public hearings on Sept. 15-17 to provide community members the opportunity to provide feedback on the project. Alternatively, interested parties can submit feedback on ADOT's website or via email.ADOT will continue receiving public comments until Oct. 30, after which the rail study team will review feedback and work with federal partners to choose an alternative and develop a final environmental impact statement.
A map of ADOT's two proposed alternatives for passenger-rail service between Tuscon and Phoenix.Source: Arizona Department of Transportation