Marana unveils ambitious 5-year road work plan - Tucson Local Media: Import

Marana unveils ambitious 5-year road work plan

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Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 12:00 am

Nov. 3, 2004 - During the next five years, Marana will embark on an ambitious road construction plan to relieve clogged roadways throughout the town and prepare for anticipated growth.

The town opted for a sweeping Capital Improvement Program through the next half-decade as opposed to dealing with construction on a year-to-year basis, said Town Manager Mike Reuwsaat. This approach allows the town to catch up to existing needs and prepare for future growth.

At a town council meeting Oct. 19, the executive assistant to the town manager for special projects, Jim DeGrood, said the total cost of the plan is $167 million. He pointed out that the proposed CIP included a cash flow shortfall of more than $30 million. He said the town could account for this shortfall by bonding against the half-cent sales tax increase passed by the town in July, which would generate the necessary income to pay back those bonds.

Councilmember Ed Honea expressed doubts at the meeting about the town embarking on a plan with such a significant budget shortfall.

Reuwsaat said the town would rely on bonds to fund the projects only when necessary, and the town had an immediate need for improvements in transportation infrastructure.

Despite his initial reluctance, Honea voted in favor of the CIP and the plan passed 6-0. Mayor Bobby Sutton was absent from the meeting.

The program will include major infrastructure changes that will create new throughways across the town. Extensions to Twin Peaks and Camino de Manana and a new Interstate 10 overpass will allow traffic to flow directly from Continental Ranch to Dove Mountain. The town will continue to move forward on improvements to Cortaro Farms Road and Silverbell Road, from Cortaro to Ina. The program also calls for major construction on Ina Road, including either an underpass or an overpass of the railroad crossing. Improvements to road safety and new traffic lights are also included in the plan.

The major projects include:

Cortaro Farms Road: Widened to two lanes in each direction, including a middle turning lane, east of I-10 to Camino de Oeste. The project is planned for this fiscal year with a cost of nearly $8 million.

Ina Road: Improvements east of I-10 to east of Meredith would cost $8.5 million and begin in the 2005 fiscal year. The construction includes an underpass or overpass of railroad tracks.

Silverbell Road: Improvements from Cortaro to Ina at a cost of $7.5 million.

Twin Peaks/Linda Vista Interchange: The Twin Peaks extension over the Santa Cruz River will cost $20 million and begin in the 2005 fiscal year. An interchange connecting Linda Vista and Twin Peaks to I-10 has a nearly $41 million price tag, with $2.5 million of that allotted for this fiscal year.

Camino de Manana/Dove Mountain Extension: These road improvements beginning in the 2005 fiscal year would allow fluid travel from Twin Peaks Road, past Linda Vista to the Dove Mountain development at a cost $18 million.

Thornydale/Orange Grove: The improvements to Thornydale will begin this fiscal year and cost $8.7 million.

Main Street Improvements: The program has allotted $3.8 million this fiscal year for the road near the Town Municipal Complex in North Marana.

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