After years of anticipation, northwest-siders are finally going to get that bridge across the CDO Wash that they've been wanting.
Two side-by-side bridges, each 600 feet long, will be built across the Cañada Del Oro Wash on La Cholla Boulevard between Overton and Magee roads.
The Board of Supervisors awarded a $15.7 million construction contract to Phoenix-based Markham Contracting Co. last week.
Most of the money comes from the Regional Transportation Authority.
Construction will begin in a few weeks and take about 18 months, said county Transportation Director Priscilla Cornelio.
"Everybody's been waiting for this for a long time," she said.
About 180 people attended public meetings on the project earlier this year, she said. And they all had the same question: When?
Big monsoon storms like the one after Independence Day that closed Overton for three days are regular reminders of how urgently this project is needed.
"The CDO Wash and La Cholla gets closed four or five times a year, and it's closed two or three days because there's a pile of sediment that has to be cleaned up," Cornelio said.
During construction, traffic will shift to a temporary roadway that'll be about 40 feet to the east of the existing roadway, said Micah Aronson, a project estimator with Markham. That way, crews can build both bridges at once, he said.
When it's done, drivers will have two lanes in each direction.
Two eastbound lanes of Speedway between Mountain and Campbell will be closed sometime this week due to streetcar work, and lane closures will continue through the end of the month. Now's the time to plan an alternate route.
OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP
There's a new grass-roots effort to get rid of grass and trash along roadsides.
Operation Clean Sweep is planned for Oct. 20, and organizers want you to mark your calendars and invite civic groups of all kinds to plan your own clean-up projects for that day.
"We want our town to be pretty again," said project leader Phil Seader. "If everybody went out and got one bag of debris and weeds on Oct. 20, we can make this town look better by Oct. 21."
Details are still in the works, but go to cleansweeptucson.com for more information.
DOWN THE ROAD
• The yearlong construction project to redo the Grant-Oracle intersection begins today.
Traffic will be down to two lanes in each direction as crews remove the median islands on Grant and install temporary traffic signals.
• Watch for work on the final phase of construction at the Sabino Canyon-Tanque Verde intersection this week. Crews will be sealing cracks during the day, and milling and paving at night, today through Thursday.
• The left lane of westbound Interstate 10 will be closed near Palo Verde Road tonight from 7 to 11. The left lane then will be closed Wednesday night near Kino Parkway. Crews are repairing guardrails.
Green Valley resident Bill Lynd sees a variety of handicap parking signs with references to different laws and with warnings about fines ranging from $50 to $500. "Can a car be ticketed for parking in a parking space that does not have a sign referencing the applicable ordinance," he asks, and "why is there such a difference in fines?"
A: The simple answer is that it depends on where you park, said J.J. Rico, managing attorney for the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
There are federal, state and local laws that apply to handicap parking spaces, and each jurisdiction sets its own rules and fines that apply to its jurisdiction.
The federal Americans With Disabilities Act has a lot of requirements for accessible parking spaces, including signage, but doesn't mention posting ordinance numbers on signs.
If the sign doesn't site an ordinance, the rules can still be enforced, Rico said.
However, ParkWise, the city parking department, has a policy not to issue tickets when a sign doesn't cite the city ordinance.
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