The Canamex Corridor (the international highway system emanating out of the Central American Free Trade Agreement which is designed to join Canada, American and Mexico into a single set of highways). The Arizona Republic is gushing over the possibility of Arizona becoming a hub of international trade between Mexico and Canada. The Canamex already has a presence in Arizona along State Route 85 in which the highway that is being hurriedly constructed between Gila Bend and Buckeye. Another leg of this superhighway will fuse 225 miles of improved U.S. 93, which will run between Las Vegas and Phoenix, with about 150 miles of new freeway around the Valley (see the companion posting on FP entitled Planners sketch out new interstate to Las Vegas
Arizona’s state, county and local governments have wholeheartedly embraced the Canamex project as they claim it will speed the delivery of products and people. However, what is good for the government and its corporate partners is not necessarily good for the average citizen.
The best predictor of the future is the past. Therefore, Arizonans would be wise to acquaint themselves with the abuses being perpetrated upon the people of Texas in their fight against the Trans-Texas Corridor which is the Texas version of the Canamex Corridor.
There are four major concerns concerning the implementation of the Canamex in Arizona based on the abuses being perpetrated upon the citizens of Texas by Governor, Rick Perry and the Texas State Legislature. The concerns are: (1) the quick take provisions associated with acquiring right of ways by acquiring land for the highway; (2) the non-compete clause; (3) the emergence of toll roads with the profits going to foreign entities; and, (4) the use of fascist concept known as public-private partnerships. Below is a list of concerns which stem from the implementation of the TTC, in Texas, and what it could mean in our future if Arizona follows in the footsteps of Texas which it appears that Arizona is well on the way to do so.
1. The “quick take” eminent domain provision, in Texas, allows TTC controlling corporation, Cintra, to make a ridiculously low offer on your land in an attempt to gain a needed right of way. Of course the landowner will object to the low offer and they will undoubtedly sue. Unquestionably, Cintra will and has engaged in delaying action s which serves to drive up the private property owner’s legal costs. More importantly, the private property owner will only have 90 days to adjudicate the legal dispute in a court of law. If on the 91st day, the judge has not made a final ruling on what the land is worth, the property reverts in whole, to Cintra. Of course, Arizona would never do such a thing to its citizens, would they? With Arizona’s long history of corruption involving land deals, one can safely bet that if one lives along or near a Canamex Corridor, your property rights and future economic solvency could be at risk.
2. The TTC contains a non-compete clause which means your tax dollars will go for upkeep on the on the Canamex Superhighway. However, the non-compete clause means that other roads cannot be maintained to the level of the Canamex Highway. Texans are beginning to discover that they are driving on many roads which are becoming hazardous because of the increasing state of disrepair due to the non-compete clause. What does this mean for your future commute to work?
3. Some Texans mistakenly thought that their individual commute times would be shortened because of the presence of the superhighways. Many Arizonans believe that the commute time between Las Vegas and Phoenix would be shortened through the construction of the highway system throughout the state. Although commute times may be shortened, the presence of toll roads makes the usage of these super highways prohibitively expensive for the average person to travel on. Several estimates place the cost of regularly using the international corridor roads, by average citizens in Texas, to be near $5,000 per year. Additionally, a document that I found hidden away for years in the Pima County Association of Governments, shows that Maricopa County and the state have long planned to toll the Loop 303. The most recent reference to this intention can be found at http://www.pagnet.org/documents/Committees/TPC/PAGTPC-2008-01-09-Minutes.pdf). Why was the intention to place a toll road on the Loop 303, hidden in Pima County official publications and not placed in the Arizona State Legislature or Maricopa Association of Government’s web sites? First, the publication which is located in a public arena fulfills the state requirement for public notice and secondly, the residents of Maricopa County would presumably be unaware of their government’s intentions to toll their roads which the plans to do so have been years in the making. Please note that Arizona has already passed legislation which allows for the implementation of toll roads in this past legislative session.
4. Canamex policies demand the use of public-private partnerships for purposes of construction, governance and maintenance. What exactly are public-private partnerships? In a word, they are fascist. Public-private partnerships represent the marriage of government (your tax dollars) to their intended spouse, the privately owned global corporations (the recipient of your tax dollars). For Texas, the public portion of this partnership are namely, the good taxpayers of the state. The private recipients of the Texan tax dollars for the TTC are Cintra and Zachary Construction, a San Antonio based construction firm. Cintra is a private corporation which is the creation of Spain’s King Juan Carlos. The Texas State Legislature leased the Canamex (i.e., the Trans Texas Corridor) for $50 million dollars and the right to control the TTC for the next 50 years. King Carlos’ company will reap billions of dollars of profits by controlling roads, overseeing free trade corridors and tolling the citizens who paid for the construction of the highway system that he now controls.
The Arizona Republic does not refer to the SR93 corridor as the Canamex. This is a lie of omission which is nothing new for this newspaper. For verification that SR93 is a Canamex Route please see http://www.canamex.org/PDF/CCC_013106_MTG_Summary.pdf, http://www.canamex.org/PDF/GTF_GovBrief_061704.pdf and http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/nhs//hipricorridors/hpcor.html.