Pinal County stands to become major transportation hub as part of Sun Corridor

By Janet Perez

Phoenix Business Journal

For decades, Pinal County has been seen simply as the large swath of land that separates Phoenix and Tucson. But Pinal’s county, city and economic development leaders are at a crossroads as they grab opportunities emerging from the Sun Corridor.

“Right now we have Interstates 10 and 8, and we will one day have Interstate 11. That’s still a bit away, but it will happen,” said Tim Kanavel, Pinal County’s economic development manager. “We’re going to have the convergence of three major interstates right there at Casa Grande. That greatly increases our opportunity to be the largest international and national logistics transportation hub in the Southwest United States.”

The ‘Golden Corridor’

The thought of such a bright future for Pinal County has led some leaders to dub the county’s piece of the Sun Corridor the “Golden Corridor,” Kanavel said.

While it has been under discussion since the early 1990s, it wasn’t until 2008 that support for a proposed economic, transportation and natural resources partnership within the state’s most pop-ulous counties began to gain steam. That was when the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University popularized the name “Sun Corridor” for a single functioning economy comprising Yavapai, Maricopa, Pinal, Pima and Santa Cruz counties with its “Megapolitan: Arizona’s Sun Corridor” report.

While Phoenix has taken a leadership role in developing the Sun Corridor, Pinal County officials are working enthusiastically on their own initiatives to spark business and job creation by capitalizing and improving on existing programs.

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