Road runner: Tucson to launch road-repair program funded by voter-approved bonds

2013-06-03T00:00:00Z 2013-06-21T14:20:21Z Road runner: Tucson to launch road-repair program funded by voter-approved bondsJoe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The first road the city of Tucson will tackle with Proposition 409 money is often the last road many residents travel on when leaving town.

A city official said the city will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on July 1 along Tucson Boulevard close to Valencia Road as well as Tucson International Airport.

The city has an ambitious plan to resurface a number of major surface streets in the next fiscal cycle, financed by the sale of the first $20 million in voter-approved bonds. Some 85 percent of the $100 million, five-year total will be spent on curb-to-curb resurfacing of major streets and arterials while curbs, sidewalks and other off-street construction, when necessary, will come out of other fund balances.

The other 15 percent - roughly $3 million a year - will be spent on residential streets.

The ultimate decision on which streets will be paved falls under the purview of the city's bond oversight committee, which met for the first time last week.

The committee is a mix of political appointees - one from each ward - and appointments by the city manager. All streets slated for restoration can be viewed on the Tucson Department of Transportation website.

DOWN THE ROAD

• The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin pavement work on Arizona 82 between Nogales and Patagonia on Tuesday. One lane will remain open at all times, but motorists should expect delays of up to 20 minutes.

• ADOT will also begin work on Arizona 80 through Benson as the state agency repairs concrete walls at the junction with Fourth Street. Traffic in both directions will share the westbound lane with ADOT personnel directing traffic through the restricted area.

ROAD Q

"Between 3:30 and 5:30 (p.m.) on weekdays, northbound traffic is held up at Linda Vista for sometimes five light changes. This backs up traffic clear back to and, at times, beyond Overton Road. The lights are set to allow only three legal northbound cars to pass through before changing to yellow. Usually about five cars get through with the last one going illegally on a red light. The northbound traffic is sitting and waiting with little or no eastbound or left turns from Linda Vista on to Thornydale. Could an adjustment to the signal timing be made to save some gas and frayed nerves for a lot of northbound folks?" - Dan Jones

A: Priscilla Cornelio, director of the Pima County Department of Transportation, said "two signal-timing engineers observed the traffic flow on three separate evenings in the last two weeks, and a signal technician checked the vehicle detection equipment for possible malfunctions, as well as the traffic flow." No one noticed any short cycling of the type described in the original caller's request. If a driver hangs back from the vehicle in front of it, the green signal will time out, but this rarely happened. During the observations, most vehicles passed through the intersection within the first available cycle, and at no time did it take more than two cycles for a vehicle to make it through the intersection. In order to accommodate the occasional driver who hangs back from the vehicle in front of it, a minor adjustment was made to the setting that determines the length of the gap between vehicles that makes it time out."

She said the county will monitor the traffic flow at this intersection and make any necessary adjustments.

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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