For a stretch of road North of Magee Road on La Cañada Drive, all four lanes of traffic are now open after more than a year of construction of the Regional Transport Association’s road expansion project. Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Five years into its 20-year transportation improvement plan, the Regional Transportation Authority celebrated its more than 400 success stories with a public party on May 16 at the Tucson Convention Center.

The event featured a specially produced video on the RTA history, along with displays on the agency’s successes over the first five years of its existence, and what is in store in the future.

The event marked the fifth anniversary of the successful May 16, 2006 election, when Pima County voters approved the RTA’s 20-year regional transportation improvement plan and a half-cent sales tax to raise $2.1 billion over that time period to help fund plan improvements.

During the five years that the RTA plan has been in effect, more than 400 road, public transit, safety, wildlife conservation, and pedestrian and bicycle projects have been completed.

Major roadway projects include:

• Completion of the Twin Peaks Interchange and Road (formerly Camino de Mañana) in Marana.

• Completion of the I-19 frontage road between Continental and Canoa roads in Green Valley.

• Completion of the Houghton/Old Vail intersection as part of the initial phase of the Houghton Road corridor project in Tucson.

• Completion of the first phase of Sahaurita Road, between I-19 and La Villita, in Sahuarita.

Safety improvements completed to date include 92 intersections, 79 pedestrian crosswalks, 39 bus pullouts and 36 traffic signal technology improvements.

Construction is under way or expected to be under way in 2011 on the following roadway projects: Downtown Links: I-10 to Church and 8th St. Drainage; Grant Road: Oracle/Grant intersection; Houghton Road: Irvington to Valencia and Houghton/Broadway intersection; Kolb Road connection with Sabino Canyon: Sabino Canyon/Tanque Verde intersection; La Cañada: Calle Concordia to River; La Cholla: River to Ruthrauff and Magee to Tangerine; Magee Road/Cortaro Farms Road: La Cañada to Mona Lisa and Mona Lisa to Thornydale; Speedway Blvd.: Camino Seco to Houghton; Tanque Verde Road: Houghton to Catalina Highway.

• Construction will begin on the following intersection projects in 2011: Oracle and Ina; Starr Pass and Mission, and Golf Links and Kolb.

• Sun Tran has expanded its evening and weekend transit service on a total of 44 routes.

• Sun Tran has added or enhanced seven express bus routes.

• New Sun Shuttle neighborhood transit service has 11 routes in operation.

• Establishment of the MainStreet Small Business Assistance Program, which has logged 20,000-plus business outreach and ombudsman visits with 4,000-plus businesses on 31 regional projects and provided confidential business consulting services to more than 240 companies.

Road projects pending completion in 2011 include:

• Camino de Mañana, Tangerine Road to Linda Vista Boulevard

• Cortaro Farms Road/Magee Road, Thornydale Road to Oracle Road

• Grant Road and Craycroft Road Intersection

• Grant Road, Oracle to Swan

• La Cañada, River to Ina

• La Cañada, Ina to Concordia

• La Cholla, Magee to Lambert

• La Cholla, River to Ruthrauff

• I-19 East Frontage Road, Canoa Ranch Drive to Continental Road

• Silverbell Road, Grant Road to Ina

• Tanque Verde, Catalina to Houghton

• Twin Peaks Interchange

• Interstate 10, Ina to Ruthrauff

For more information, call 770-9410 or visit

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