Posted 10:00 PM 5/22/2012 : Pima County's Top 5 Road Construction Projects
PIMA COUNTY - Almost everywhere you drive in the Tucson valley it seems you run into a traffic jam, thanks to one road project or another. That's why we're steering you through the five biggest projects in the county.
If you've traveled the northwest side of town in the past few months you've seen the dirt flying and crews working. There is $100 million worth of construction work going on there right now.
"The good news is we're taking care of all of the congestion and the drainage problems that you have in the northwest side, but the bad news is, the construction is all at once," says Priscilla Cornelio, Director of Pima County Department of Transportation.
The top five projects are all on the northwest side.
"Living in the area, we hear the noise and the dust," says Laurie Walsh.
The Mona Lisa - La Canada project includes major intersection work including the elimination of a standard left turn at Magee and La Cholla.
"It's been a little bit confusing for people trying to figure it out at first, not really knowing what they're doing. now they have better signage so that's been helpful."
Next is the widening of the bridge over the Canada del Oro wash. Eventually Magee will be two lanes in both directions at this location
Right now you'll find utility work going on La Canada from Ina to River. It's in preparation for added lanes and a new median. This should reduce congestion in the area and make it easier to access.
"If somebody had moved away two years ago and they come back in two more years, they won't even recognize the place," says Cornelio.
Starting this summer, you'll no longer get stuck when traveling on La Cholla from Magee to Overton. The county is fixing flooding problems with a 600-foot bridge.
"They close it down and it can go a week at a time or so," says Walsh.
And lastly, the construction on Magee between La Canada and Oracle. The road will be widened to four lanes with a raised median, sidewalks and bike lanes.
Projects will be going on for the next couple years.
"I believe that with a little pain there's going to be a big gain at the end," says Cornelio.
If you're wondering with all the construction, why you don't see cracks and potholes being fixed, it's because that money comes from a different source. RTA funds are for construction and can't go to maintenance. That funding comes from highway use and gas tax money.
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