On Sept. 29, officials came together to dedicate the completion of the La Cañada Drive road improvement project.

Construction began in Jan. of 2010 and was completed last month.

The project officially began in 1997 with a County Bond Project and faltered in the early 2000s due to a lack of funding. In May of 2006, with the supplemental funding from a voter-approved bond through the Regional Transportation Authority, designs and plans were finished by HDR, Engineering Inc., KE&G Construction and the Pima County Department of Transportation.

The construction project was bid at $13.1 million, which relocated power poles and utilities, widened the roadway to four lanes with a center median, and installed storm water drainage systems, retaining walls, landscaping, sidewalks and paths.

Sound walls were installed in some locations, but not in all of the places that residents expressed from the beginning.

District 1 Pima County Board of Supervisors Ann Day spoke during the ceremony and expressed her concern that not all houses that border La Cañada Drive had sound walls installed to help buffer the noise from the increased traffic flow along the newly widened road.

Day also voiced her opinion on the same issue during the groundbreaking ceremony in 2010. At that time, she said she wished the RTA board could have approved the recommendations for additional walls made by the RTA subcommittee.

Also present during the ceremony was Priscilla Cornelio, the director of the Pima County Department of Transportation; Jim DeGrood, the director of transportation services for the RTA; Oro Valley Vice Mayor Mary Snider, and Chris Albright, the vice president of KE&G Construction.

Bidding for the next stretch of construction along La Cañada, between Ina and River roads, begins this month.

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