County supervisors backed a resolution related to the realignment of a roughly four-mile stretch of Hughes Access Road later this summer, but it was not a unanimous decision.

Supervisor Ally Miller called the plans designed to benefit the area’s largest employer, Raytheon Missile Systems, a multi-million gamble that the defense contractor will want to expand their facilities.

She noted Raytheon has never contacted her office about wanting to move Hughes Access Road, and she doesn’t believe they have any plans to expand.

The contractor’s plant is in District 2, represented by Supervisor Ramón Valadez.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said he talked to officials with Raytheon last Friday and they fully support to realignment of Hughes Access Road.

The road, which would be moved roughly 2,500 feet to the south of its current alignment, would give Raytheon Missile Systems much-needed room for expansion and clear the way for the Tucson Airport Authority to build a second 11,000-foot runway.

County officials envision the realignment leading to a state-of-the-art research and business park as part of a new 10-mile aerospace and defense corridor.

They believe international trade with Mexico also would increase, as the county looks to build an inland port in southern Tucson by tying existing rail lines to the newly expanded Tucson International Airport and a new high-speed bypass proposed to complement the proposed Interstate 11.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson.


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.