Sonoran Institute’s Efforts Yield Recommendations for the Town of Wickenburg and the I-11 Corridor

WICKENBURG, Ariz. (May 8, 2017) — After spending the summer and fall of 2016 participating in a community engagement project which included a youth art exercise, a community survey and a multi-day charrette, the citizens of Wickenburg have spoken. Their vision for locating and designing the proposed I-11 corridor is captured in the Sonoran Institute’s Context Sensitive Interstate and Infrastructure Design Report, presented to the Town Council on May 1.

The report, containing graphics, images and text, brings together the ideas generated by the community, the design team and the Town of Wickenburg’s Mayor’s I-11 Task Force into a set of recommendations for a future multi-use corridor potentially incorporating an interstate highway, passenger and/or freight rail, energy transmission facilities and state-of-the-art data infrastructure, depending on the location. The context sensitive planning approach is a collaborative, interdisciplinary method intended to ensure transportation projects are considerate of the character and environment of the corridor and the surrounding neighborhood, are responsive to multiple transportation modes, maintain safety and mobility and include early and continuous public involvement.

Sonoran Institute and Town officials hope the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will use the report as design guidance for siting and planning the proposed interstate, if it is to be built in the future, through Wickenburg.

“Wickenburg residents were very clear about expressing their viewpoints during the data-gathering portion of this process,” said Ian Dowdy, the report’s principle author and Director of the Sun Corridor Program at the Sonoran Institute. “They recognize that roads and highways play a significant role in the visual quality of the community, and understand the value in having the chosen alignment respond to the context of the area. Community members also realize that the corridor is not just about the movement of goods and people, but should be built for the next generation of infrastructure.”

The report recommendations reflect the work done with the community as well as the evaluation and analysis completed by the design team with the assistance of the Mayor’s I-11 Task Force.

“This report gives Wickenburg residents a unified voice and position about the future of the proposed I-11 corridor, and its impact on their community,” said Wickenburg Mayor Everett Sickles.

The report not only contains design recommendations for the corridor, but also makes a case for amending Town planning and policy documents, and increasing advocacy of the community in the local and federal I-11 corridor planning process as well as infrastructure planning in the region.

The context sensitive design process incorporated into this report was developed to be compatible with the ADOT project development process by expanding upon certain steps within the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process. Using ADOT’s project development process as a guide, the recommended context sensitive design solutions can be used in the process as the project develops.


Ian Dowdy, Sonoran Institute, 602-393-4310 x308,


About the Sonoran Institute

Founded in 1990, the Sonoran Institute’s mission is to connect people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. We work at the nexus of commerce, community, and conservation to help people in the North American West build the communities they want to live in while preserving the values that brought them here. We envision a West where civil dialogue and collaboration are hallmarks of decision making, where people and wildlife live in harmony, and where clean water, air, and energy are assured. For more information visit: