The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is still in the planning phase of I-11 and is years away from becoming a reality but that’s not stopping the Humboldt County Commission from getting the word out that the county wants the corridor to come through the area. The commission approved a request by Humboldt County Manager Dave Mendiola for a website specific to I-11 “with the intention of promoting the north corridor from Interstate 80 through Winnemucca” and to Idaho via US Highway 95.
Mendiola said the request is an ongoing effort to elevate the county’s status with NDOT for the eventual construction of the Interstate 11 corridor. Mendiola was contacted by a graduate student at the University of Idaho to work with the county to create a website. “Today,” Mendiola said, “when you search Interstate 11 … you get old data that’s been on the [Internet] for two years from NDOT that they haven’t really updated. It talks nothing about the next step from I-80 going north.”
According to Mendiola, the website will cost about $300 a year and that the City of Winnemucca will help pay for half the cost. He went on to say that as the website progresses, he anticipates that other cities and counties such a Malheur County, Oregon and Canyon County, Idaho would participate in sources of funding and information.
In 2018, Mendiola said that it was an economic imperative to connect major urban areas in Nevada and Idaho. “We feel it is also imperative that we connect southern Idaho to northern Nevada. The southern Idaho regional economy has been one of the fastest growing in the nation over the past five years.”
According to a Forbes’ annual list of fastest-growing cities in the US for 2018, Boise, Idaho ranks number one.
Commission Chairman Jim French said, “If we’re serious about doing this we need to get onboard.” The commission approved the request at the June 3 meeting.
The proposed plan for I-11 creates a transportation corridor linking commerce and travel from Mexico to Canada. It currently terminates at Henderson Spaghetti Bowl interchange south of Las Vegas.
While NDOT board voted in 2014 to designate U.S. Highway 95 as the proposed route for the future interstate between Las Vegas and I-80, transportation officials haven’t decided where the Interstate will go from there. One option is to follow U.S. 95 to Fernley, then west to Reno and north on U.S. 395 into southern Oregon. Another possibility is to head northeast from Fernley through Winnemucca to Idaho, which the city and county favor.