Last week, officials came together to dedicate the completion of the La Cañada Drive road improvement project.

Construction began in January 2010 and was completed last month.

The project officially began in 1997 with a county bond project and faltered in the early 2000s due to a lack of funding. In May 2006, with the supplemental funding from a voter-approved bond through the Regional Transportation Authority, designs and plans were completed by HDR, Engineering Inc., KE&G Construction and the Pima County Department of Transportation.

The construction project was bid $13.1 million, which paid for the relocation of power poles and utilities, widening of the roadway to four lanes with a center median, storm water drainage systems, retaining walls, landscaping, sidewalks and paths. Sound walls were installed in some locations, but not in all of the places that residents expressed from the beginning.

Ann Day, Pima County supervisor, District 1, was a guest speaker. She expressed her concern that not all houses bordering La Cañada Drive had sound walls installed to help buffer the noise from an increased traffic flow along the newly widened road.

Day also voiced her opinion on the matter during the groundbreaking ceremony in 2010. At that time, she commented that she wished the RTA board could have approved the recommendations for additional walls made by the RTA subcommittee.

Also present during the ceremony were Priscilla Cornelio, the director of the Pima County Department of Transportation; Jim DeGrood, the director of transportation services for the RTA; Oro Valley Vice Mayor Mary Snider, and Chris Albright, the vice president of KE&G Construction.

Bidding for the next stretch of construction along La Cañada, between Ina and River roads, begins this week.

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