Within the next few years, Oro Valley residents and visitors will enjoy a smooth ride down State Route 77, also known as Oracle Road.
The state highway runs through the town’s busy commercial corridor and for years has been a topic of concern for town staff, since it’s the only road in town that they don’t maintain themselves.
Oro Valley’s public works department performs surface treatments to arterial roads at least every two years, if not more frequently. Surface treatments are applied to residential and collector streets every five years.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has control over Oracle Road, and Oro Valley lobbied to have a stretch of North Oracle Road included in ADOT’s five-year construction program. Last March, town engineer Paul Keesler and Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce president Dave Perry spoke at an ADOT board meeting to highlight the need for repavement in order to make the corridor more attractive to new businesses and current residents alike.
It seems those efforts have paid off. In June, ADOT released the list of projects in their five-year plan, which includes funding for pavement preservation and improvements to sidewalks and lighting on Oracle Road between River Road and Tangerine Road. The work will be split up into two separate projects. In 2020, construction crews will perform the upgrades between River Road and Calle Concordia. This will include new sidewalks from River Road to West Magee Road and street lighting from River Road to Ina Road.
Funding for the second half up to Tangerine Road will come in 2022, but town staff don’t know exactly when work on that portion will begin.
Phone calls to ADOT’s engineering team were not returned as of print deadline.
ADOT has allocated a total of more than $42 million for the two projects. The funds will come from the Highway Safety Improvement Program and the National Highway Performance Program. Both are federal aid programs that provide funds on an assessed need basis.
ADOT’s list of major highway projects has 186 different items and will cost about $2.47 billion over the next five years. Pima County will receive $94 million in funding for highway projects, while Maricopa will receive $235 million and Yavapai will receive $333 million.