Tumamoc Hill will close later this month to accommodate a complete repaving of the 1.5-mile long road leading to the top.
Starting Jan. 22, the hill will be inaccessible while University of Arizona crews pulverize the current road to create a base for the new asphalt road. The process is expected to take two weeks, with reopening scheduled for Feb. 1
"We see this as a huge opportunity to improve a road that has outlasted its time," said Ben Wilder, director of Tumamoc Hill, in a release. "After more than three decades, the new road will look and feel better to those who use it to exercise, and it also will assist with the Desert Lab's mission of research and education."
Tumamoc is an 860-acre ecological reserve and U.S. National Historic Landmark owned and operated by the UA in partnership with Pima County. The Desert Laboratory at Tumamoc was created in 1902 by Andrew Carnegie, beginning more than 100 years of ecological research on the hill, which is a rich resource for scientists and other researchers who study its plants, animals and other features.
According to the UA, the cost of the new road is approximately $200,000. The university will invest half, with the UA College of Science raising the rest through a crowdfunding campaign at crowdfund.arizona.edu/tumamocroad.
Edith Sykes Lowell and David Lowell are providing a dollar-for-dollar match up to $50,000. Sykes Lowell is the granddaughter of Godfrey Sykes, one of Tumamoc Hill's early scientists.