Since plans for the Ina Road Interchange project were announced several years ago, the town of Marana has been examining ways to help businesses with the impact of the construction.
Ina Road’s closure on both ends of I-10 was going to cause a number of problems, including difficulty for cops and firefighters responding to calls in the area and traffic issues at neighboring interchanges. But the biggest concern was for the area businesses, whose customers are likely to avoid the congestion and hassles that come with a major road project.
The town came up with a number of strategies to help those businesses, including the creation of an app to help promote businesses and inform residents about what was happening in the area.
The town’s “Project Ina” app has gone live and is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. The goal of the free app is to allow people to keep up with the traffic alerts in the area, as well as learn about any deals or promotions from those businesses affected by the construction.
The app was first presented to the Marana Town Council back in October, when a beta version was available. The goal was to have everything someone heading to the area would need to know in one place.
“It will really serve as a central hub of information about the program,” said Marana Assistant to the Town Manager Tony Hunter at the time.
Among the features that can be found on the app: The newsroll, which has press releases, manager messages and other updated information related to the project. There will be a directory of the impacted businesses and a #projectina hashtag businesses that could instantly advertise through the app. The hashtag will also allow the town to communicate through social media on the project.
The app will also have a project map showing construction progress as well as push notifications of project updates and important alerts and links to important resources.
In addition to the app, residents can find updates and information abou the project on the town’s website at www.maranaaz.gov/projectina.
The app is just one of many strategies being employed by the town to help businesses in the area. The town council recently relaxed the sign code in the area during the construction project, allowing those businesses in the affected area to utilize additional signage to increase visibility. The town will also be placing additional signage around the area to remind drivers that Ina Road is still open for business.
Hunter said the signage is designed to remind people that Ina businesses remain open despite the construction.
The heart of the project has begun as the Ina Road on and off ramps were set to close this week and will remain closed for up to two years as the the Arizona Department of Transportation constructs a bridge over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at Ina Road. The goal of the project is to “ease the flow of traffic at this intersection and improve the safety at this location for all users of Marana’s roads and I-10.” A similar project was completed a few years ago at Prince Road.