Road runner: 123 intersections to date have seen work with regional transportation funds

2013-05-13T00:00:00Z 2013-06-21T14:21:21Z Road runner: 123 intersections to date have seen work with regional transportation fundsBecky Pallack Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

We're about halfway through the intersection-improvement program that was part of the voter-approved Regional Transportation Authority plan.

The 20-year plan includes $100 million for 200 intersection-safety and -capacity projects.

So far the RTA has spent about $44 million to improve 123 intersections, said RTA Transportation Services Director Jim DeGrood.

The projects cost about 7 percent less than originally estimated, DeGrood said in a recent progress report on the intersection program.

We're getting a pretty good deal for our tax dollars, DeGrood's report shows.

Some of the projects solved longtime problems, like the Fort Lowell-Campbell intersection and the Grant-Craycroft intersection.

Another $6 million in projects are in the pipeline, including the big Oracle-Ina intersection with the new indirect left-turn system.

Preliminary work is under way, and heavy construction should begin in June.

"We have great hopes for how this is going to perform, because clearly there is a congestion problem," DeGrood said.

A lot of intersection projects have gotten done early in the 20-year plan because it's taken more time to get the big road construction projects up and running, he said.

Now that road construction is the main focus, there will be less attention paid to intersection work, and such projects probably will be more spread out over time, he said.

DOWN THE ROAD

• Interstate 10 will be down to one lane in each direction between Pinal Air Park and Ruthrauff roads this week. The pavement work will happen at night, so it shouldn't mess up your commute.

• One lucky neighborhood will get a slurry seal on its roads this week. It's an area north of Broadway between Swan and Craycroft roads, near University High School.

• Several streets will get a microsurfacing treatment this week, including Harrison Road, Tucson Boulevard, Drexel Road, Pantano Road, Escalante Road, Sixth Avenue and Swan Road.

• Expect delays of up to five minutes Tuesday and Wednesday on the Interstate 19 frontage road near Canoa Road in Green Valley while crews work on the pavement and install new stop signs at Canoa Road.

• On Friday, streetcar construction crews plan to reopen the westbound Interstate 10 frontage road between 22nd and Congress streets.

ROAD Q

Question: Richard Pinnell wants to know if there are any plans to repave Valencia Road just east of Country Club. Driving on that stretch of road "is like riding a bucking bronco," he writes.

Answer: At least you ride a bucking horse for only eight seconds.

While there are various projects to redo Valencia from Alvernon east, there are no plans for the section Richard asked about.

"It's not in the five-year bond program, and at this time there is no capital funding to repave this portion of Valencia," said city spokesman Michael Graham. "So for now, it will be routine maintenance."

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.

Note: This is Becky Pallack's last week as Road Runner. Next week Joe Ferguson takes the wheel.

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

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