Road runner: Bids expected soon for major redo of Oracle-Ina intersection

2012-12-10T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:18:43Z Road runner: Bids expected soon for major redo of Oracle-Ina intersectionBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 10, 2012 12:00 am  • 

No more half-mile backups. No more waiting through three traffic-light cycles.

No more settling for a U-turn so you don't have to wait in the left-turn lane.

The long-awaited redo of the Ina-Oracle roads intersection is on its way.

The intersection sees 96,000 vehicles per day, up 58 percent over 10 years, said county Transportation Director Priscilla Cornelio.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department has been called to 32 collisions at that intersection so far this year, said Deputy Tom Peine. And Arizona Department of Public Safety officers went to another 30 accidents there, said Officer Raul Molina.

The project aims to ease traffic jams and make the intersection safer by adding indirect left turns and dual right-turn lanes.

The indirect-left means you'll drive straight through the intersection and make a U-turn to get where you're going. It'll be faster than the current setup because a light will stop traffic for your U-turn and the traffic signals will be timed together "so you're not going to stop at three signals," Cornelio said.

Construction bids are due in two weeks, and then it will take about three months to get all the construction materials lined up.

That brings us to late spring, when we'll have three months of construction. Most of the work will be done at night to avoid messing up your commute, said county project manager Bob Roggenthen.

The first step will be excavating the northeast corner, he said.

Construction is expected to cost about $2.4 million, paid through the Regional Transportation Authority.

Down The Road

• If you're one of the 24,000 drivers who use Orange Grove Road every day, you'll be happy to know relief from traffic congestion is coming soon.

A $7.4 million project to add one lane in each direction between La Cholla and Camino de La Tierra will go to bid this month or next, Cornelio said.

• Patching, crack sealing and slurry sealing work is starting this week on Country Club Road north and south of Ajo Way, near the University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus. Watch for daytime lane restrictions.

• Pima County will begin work this week on an overlay treatment for roads in a Littletown neighborhood near Littletown and Craycroft roads.

Road Q

Sergio Mendez has a question about traffic lights on Oracle Road at Tangerine Road and at Innovation Park Drive.

Wouldn't traffic flow better, he asks, if northbound drivers got a green light at the same time that northbound drivers turning west got a green arrow? With the current light timing, northbound traffic backs up.

A: "Early next year, crews will investigate the feasibility of changing the signal ... operation on state Route 77 at Tangerine and Innovation Park Drive and the use of a leading green arrow for northbound Tangerine Road, which is a T-intersection," said Dustin Krugel, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

"Additionally, Innovation Park Drive will also be analyzed for a leading northbound left arrow," he said in an email. "It might be possible to allow the northbound vehicles through when a northbound leading left arrow appears, but this would not be possible when someone is in the southbound left turn lane waiting to turn into Catalina State Park or wanting to make a U-turn."

Send your Road Q questions by email to roadrunner@azstarnet.com or to 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. Please include first and last names.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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