The purpose of the Hassayampa Valley Rail Corridors Cost Analysis Update is to develop planning-level financial assumptions and an estimate of probable cost for new conceptual freight railroad lines in the far western area of Maricopa County (Figure E1). The study area extends from Gila Bend in the south, to Morristown in the north. The study area is more than 60 miles long, 30 miles wide, and encompasses more than 1,500 square miles. Major natural features within the study area include the Gila River, Hassayampa River, White Tanks Mountains, and Vulture Mountains. Major transportation features within the study area include Interstate 10 (I-10), Interstate 8 (I-8), the proposed Interstate 11 (I-11), State Route (SR) 85, US Highway 60 (US 60), Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Gila Mainline, and the BNSF Railway Phoenix Subdivision. The study are includes portions of the Town of Gila Bend, Town of Buckeye, and City of Surprise. The concept for new rail corridors in western Maricopa County originated with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Hassayampa Valley Transportation Framework Study, completed in 2007. A number of studies completed by MAG and the Arizona Department of Transportation since 2007 have also carried this recommendation forward. The purpose of the new rail corridors is to:
- Promote economic development by linking future economic activity centers and supporting future population and employment growth.
- Promote a diversified economic base in western Maricopa County.
- Facilitate improved rail connectivity to Phoenix and to northern and southern Arizona.