Oct 31, 2012 10:10 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Northeast side residents want River Road widened

TUCSON - Homeowners on the northeast side are getting no relief to a concern they have been voicing for a while now.

The City of Tucson recently annexed a big parcel of land near River and Craycroft. That move brought in developers and along with them a lot more traffic.

It's a problem Tucson City Council Member Steve Kozachik said was made worse by the city approving further development while most of River still resides under county jurisdiction.

"We just annexed a piece of property that made that situation worse than what it was to begin with," said City Council member Steve Kozachik.

Residents who were upset before the annexation are still calling for action. They want the county to step in and widen River Road but county officials say its more complicated than it seems.

John Rourke lives on county land but drives through the affected area every day.

"The concerns of the neighborhood was that the traffic congestion would be a bad situation, and I think it has been for the most part," Rourke told News 4 Tucson.

River Road operates as a two-lane road leading into four lanes at the Craycroft intersection before turning back into two-lane traffic.

Talks have ensued between the city and county about widening the road but have gone nowhere.

"It's county property so the county is absolutely a player in this but the city is also, it's both groups," Kozachik said.

County officials said the projected traffic just wasn't bad enough to warrant a widening of the road.

Pima County Department of Transportation Director Priscilla Cornelio said if it were to consider widening the road, it would be difficult because a lack of funds. She said any plans to do so are currently dead.

"If the city committed to sharing the cost with the county ...we would start to explore...initiate planning on the widening of River Road," Cornelio said.

Kozachik hopes to gather city and county leaders after next week's election to hash out a solution to this problem.


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