As motorists of Northwest Tucson have no doubt noticed, the intersection of La Cholla Boulevard and Magee Road may not be a preferred driving route, as the area has been bombarded with what seems to be an obstacle course of construction.

In about a month’s time, drivers can expect more of the same just north of the intersection along La Cholla Blvd to Overton Road, as the Pima County Department of Transportation and Regional Transportation Authority have sponsored a $28 million roadway project to build a divided four-lane bridge over the Canada Del Oro Wash.

According to Priscilla Cornelio, Director of Pima County Department of Transportation, the project will take about a year and a half to complete, but will provide a lasting solution to a roadway that is prone to flooding and congested traffic.

“Whenever there is any rain in the area, this area is often closed because of flooding or all the sediment buildup on the road,” she said. “We have finally done all the studies and gotten all the permits, and are ready to go with this project.”

The County selected Phoenix contractor Markham Contracting for the construction of the 600-foot-long bridge, which will be supplemented with other bonuses for area residents.

“The roadway will not only allow all-weather access, but will provide bike lanes, sidewalks, and noise reduction walls,” said Cornelio. “We think all the adjacent neighborhoods will be very pleased with the outcome of the project.”

Project Manager Dean Papajohn said the public will have a lot to look forward to upon completion.  

According to Project Manager Dean Papajohn, the project also brings safety benefits to the traveling public, such as improved sight distances, drainage, intersection geometry, pedestrian ways, and median curbs for access control.

Papajohn said the project took into consideration public input. Pima County gathered public input for the project through open houses, which were held on Dec. 1, 2009, March 30, 2010, and June 21, 2011.

“The design team is developing design plans for the project with input from a local Community Advisory Committee,” said Papajohn. “The Pima County Department of Transportation and our team of design professionals are committed to designing and constructing safe, functional, and environmentally sensitive roads that enhance life in the community.”

The new roadway will feature landscaped medians as well as public art, and storm drains.

The Town of Oro Valley, in conjunction with the RTA, is looking into a separate roadway project in the distant future that will make improvements from Overton Road to Tangerine Road.

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