Ribbons were cut in the Town of Marana last Friday, marking the end of major construction along Tangerine Road.
Dozens of well-dressed men and women congregated under a white tent alongside the region’s newest stretch of widened road to mark the occasion, a celebration of the collaborative effort by the towns of Oro Valley and Marana, Pima County and the Regional Transportation Authority to expand Tangerine Road from Interstate 10 east to its intersection with Oracle Road.
The multi-phase project, which cost $74.2 million in total to complete, began in 2016, building out the 10-mile-long Tangerine Road corridor.
Last week’s ceremony marked the completion of the first segment the project, from North La Cañada Drive to North Dove Mountain Boulevard, with the second stretch from Dove Mountain to Interstate 10 expected to happen between 2022 and 2026.
The improvements included an expansion of the road from two lanes to four, with landscaped medians.
The development also included the inclusion of widened sidewalks and bikeways, turn lanes with stop lights at North Camino De Oeste, North Thornydale Road and North La Cholla Boulevard, as well as wildlife crossings for four-legged residents.
Both town mayors said the renovation work—which was handled by Tangerine Corridor Constructors, a joint venture between Granite and Borderland construction—highlights a new era of collaboration in the region.
Longtime Marana Mayor Ed Honea addressed the subject first, discussing how vital Tangerine Road is to both towns, and how bright the future will be with an improved roadway.
“What this road really means to a couple communities in our community, and that’s Oro Valley and Marana,” Honea said. “We have such a great bond, and this road becomes the spine of both of our communities. Eventually, when Tangerine is finished to the freeway, it will take people from [State Route] 77/Oracle Road, all the way to the freeway. So, we tie those two major transportation corridors together. But it does more, it ties us together.”
Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath shared a similar level of positivity about the project, which is part of the voter-approved RTA plan.
Hiremath, who serves as chair of the RTA’s board, believes the newly-renovated stretch of road will bring a brighter economic future for the two fast-growing towns.
“This project, for the town of Oro Valley, it really is about relationships,” he said. “It has nothing to do really with connecting Oro Valley to I-10. What this is, is an umbilical cord between the town of Oro Valley and the town of Marana, and it’s a solidification of the unity that both towns have.”
Both Hiremath and Honea are confident that the infrastructure improvement will bring more residents and businesses to the region, which will benefit everyone involved.
Just a bit to the south, the Town of Marana is improving pavement, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting along the Ina Road corridor.
The $3 million project includes a scrapping of the road’s asphalt from Silverbell Road to the west, all the way to the Cañada del Oro Wash in the east.
The plan, according to Marana capital improvement plan manager Mac Murray, is to widen the sidewalks along Ina from four feet to five feet in width, with hand rails along the corridor, to meet standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Murray said the corridor will also receive streetlights for the first time, with enhancements to the landscaping in the area, mostly involving red rock fixtures that will be added to the side of the road. He believes the improvements will create a brighter entranceway to the town, coinciding with the reopening of the Ina Road exit and overpass at Interstate 10.
“I’m excited because this project is going to bring a more vibrant economic corridor with enhanced lighting and landscaping, all coinciding with the opening of the ADOT interchange at Ina and Interstate 10,” Murray said. Murray said the Ina Road project will wrap up by late February or early March, 2019, with two separate asphalt lifts along the stretch happening at separate times.
Most of the project’s major work will happen overnight so as to minimize its effect on the commuting public.