The CANAMEX corridor is a corridor linking Canada to Mexico through the United States. The corridor was established under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Currently the corridor is defined by a series of highways. However the corridor is also proposed for use by railroads, pipelines and fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure.
The CANAMEX corridor is defined by the numbered highway designations along its length:
- British Columbia and Alberta- Highway 97 connects the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek to highway 2 leading southeasterly into Alberta where it becomes highway 43. This route further links Highway 43, Highway 16, Highway 216, Highway 2, Highway 3, and Highway 4. The latter continues as Interstate 15 across the USA-Canada border.
- Montana - Interstate 15
- Idaho - Interstate 15
- Utah - Interstate 15
- Nevada - Interstate 15, Interstate 515, U.S. Route 93
- Arizona - U.S. Route 93, Interstate 10, Interstate 19. To make the highway drivable as a continuous route also requires the inclusion of U.S. Route 60 though it is not officially included.
Since the CANAMEX corridor was originally proposed, a second proposal, Interstate 11, would run along a similar path in Nevada and Arizona and replace most of the current non-freeway segments in those states.
The United States portion of the highway was established as a High Priority Corridor. The treaty establishes that the CANAMEX highway will be upgraded to at least 4 lanes along its entire length. In 2008, 84% of the highway in the United States was compliant, 86% of the highway in Mexico was compliant. The Canada portion was completed in 2007.
Two bottlenecks were identified with the Arizona portion of the corridor. The first was the route of U.S. Route 93 across northwestern Arizona, which at the time included a slow windy route over the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam Bypass opened in December 2010 resolving this issue.
The second issue is a gap near Phoenix. The official designation is Interstate 10 to U.S. Route 93 at Phoenix. However, US 93 does not enter Phoenix or connect with I-10. US 93 currently terminates at Wickenburg northwest of Phoenix. To make this connection currently requires driving U.S. Route 60, a surface street through the western suburbs of Phoenix not compliant with the standards established by the treaty. The chosen alternative for resolution will complete a compliant connection between Wickenburg and Phoenix via an upgrade and extension to Arizona State Route 303. A second proposal has since been made for a freeway connection between Las Vegas and Casa Grande, Arizona, Interstate 11, that would in its course connect Wickenburg to Phoenix.
NAFTA also established the CANAMEX corridor for rail usage. The Union Pacific Railroad owns and operates rail lines loosely following the highway corridor between Las Vegas, Nevada and Canada, acquired from the former Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad and the Oregon Short Line. The Union Pacific also owns a rail line between Phoenix, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. However, there is no existing railroad line directly connecting Las Vegas and Phoenix. Rail traffic from these cities currently uses the Arizona and California Railway and/or BNSF Railway via Barstow, California for a connection.
- "CANAMEX Corridor". Canamex Coalition. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Federal Definition". Canamex coalition.
- "CANAMEX statistics". Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- Illia, Tony; Cho, Aileen (7 December 2009). "Buffeted by High Winds and Setbacks, a Bypass Is Making History Near Hoover Dam". Engineering News-Record (New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies) 263 (18): 18. ISSN 0891-9526. "(The crossing) is scheduled to open in November 2010."
- Andy Field and Alex Nitzman. "CANAMEX (High Priority Corridor 26)". AARoads.
- CANAMEX Corridor website