Infrastructure is a vital component in encouraging the Town of Marana’s growth and prosperity. The quality of infrastructure makes the town a desirable place to live for residents, helps shape investment decisions, attracts new businesses, makes the town an attractive destination for visitors and boosts the region’s economy.
The Public Works Department recognizes that part of maintaining a high-quality infrastructure is the outward presentation of the town, but beautification efforts aren’t done solely for vanity—it serves a purpose.
Every year, Public Works chooses a part of Marana to restore to its original condition. This includes repainting bridges, replacing dead vegetation and landscaping, installing decorative gravel and restoring medians and shoulders along the roads. This year saw the restoration of Tangerine Farms Road, and Cortaro Road is scheduled to be next. The selection process is based on what areas need the most improvement and to maintain the standard of excellence that the Town has achieved throughout the community.
To help with this endeavor, Public Works has a schedule set in place for maintaining all aspects of the Town’s roadways, sidewalks, drainageways, public spaces, and other community spaces. Street sweeping is done monthly for all main roads, quarterly for subdivisions, and immediately after events, accidents and hazards. Bike paths are also regularly cleaned when needed. Marana Public Works utilizes street sweeping more often than other agencies, which helps with keeping debris and sediment out of catch basins, box culverts, and washes which in turn helps minimize potential flooding and other long-term problems.
Public Works uses a “proactive, not reactive” approach, not just in street sweeping, but in all responsibilities of the department. The landscaping crew maintains 910 acres of land that requires spray treatments and mowing. This isn’t just for looks, but for controlling vegetation growth in a safe and orderly manner for weed abatement and fire protection. Landscaping services are also done on an annual schedule, but any new requests that come in to the department are completed as soon as possible.
Another part of town beautification is the bridge painting program. The Public Works department worked closely with ADOT to implement a program to maintain bridges in Marana, repainting them when necessary in a 3-5-year cycle. You can see examples of this work at Tangerine Road, Marana Road, Cortaro Road, Ina Road, Orange Grove and any bridge that crosses the Santa Cruz River and Canyon Del Oro Wash within the town limits.
However, we all know that there are instances you can’t plan for. Certain events and accidents create hazards on roads and paths that need to be cleared in between regular scheduling. Enter the Hot Shot Crew, an emergency resource that provides a catch-all for problems that arise quickly and need to be solved just as fast.
Introduced just a year ago, the Hot Shot Crew is still young, but has already proved its worth. This crew is used by the street crew, the traffic division, and the police department for any situation that requires a quick response to clean an area and ensure safety of residents. You may see them in action when a sign is down, in the instance of an illegal dumping, or helping MPD clean up after an accident in the roadway.
In instances of damaging storms like monsoons and microbursts, you can also see the Hot Shot Crew and the rest of the Public Works Department acting as part of the first responders’ team alongside the police and fire departments. Public Works has a storm preparedness plan in place for these events in order to quickly and efficiently ensure safe passage for town residents and restore damaged town property to its original quality and cleanliness.
During times like these, Public Works is in constant communication with all departments of the Town to support each other however needed, from handing out sandbags to getting roadways back open for emergency vehicles and allowing people to get home safely.
Marana is aggressively working with ADOT and the region to determine funding for improvements that Marana residents have continually called for. (We understand the frustrations that come along with traffic delays and want you to know that we are working diligently on a solution. In the meantime, we work with ADOT to go above and beyond our responsibilities in order to keep our Town up to the Marana standard that our residents have come to expect.)
Public Works is always collaborating with the rest of the town departments because when everything works well together, we all grow in many ways. The town’s ability to look great and function well not only improves our residents’ quality of life, but it allows the town to grow through tourism, encourage attracting new businesses, and ultimately, attract more residents.
To help the Public Works Department maintain the high quality of service it has established, you can notify us of problems within the Town at maranaaz.gov/citizenfeedback.
Mo El-Ali is the Marana Public Works Director.