The Main Stream

Nov 8, 2012 5:59 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

La Cholla Bridge Project: neighors endure headaches now, smoother ride later

TUCSON- Suffer now, enjoy later.

It's the motto these days among many Northwest side residents living along La Cholla Blvd. between Magee and Overton Roads.

The Regional Transportation Authority just got started a couple months ago on a $28-million construction project that will widen La Cholla to four lanes, make room for bicyclists and pedestrians and build a bridge over the CDO wash. "When it's done it will be nice, but right now not so much," says Manuel Moreno, who lives right near the construction.

He says the crews start digging and bull-dozing at around 6am every morning.

"I keep telling myself that it's going to go away one of these days," says Sondra Franks, who also lives nearby.

But there is a long way to go.

The project isn't expected to be completed until Spring 2014. "It's a little bit of a hassle because we just got through with La Canada and now Magee and now we're doing La Cholla, so the construction is all back to back," says Richard Franks who also lives near the construction.

Despite the hassle, residents say they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. "I don't think there's any choice other than to do it," Sondra Franks says. "It should have been done quite some time ago."

Residents say the bridge will be key. Last July the CDO wash flooded near Overton, shutting down the road for several days.

"It seems whenever the washes are flooded you're adding 15 minutes to your drive home," Moreno says. "Hopefully we won't have to find another way around if we can just go over the water."

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