Road runner: Widening work starts soon on Tucson's Orange Grove Road

2013-04-22T00:00:00Z Road runner: Widening work starts soon on Tucson's Orange Grove RoadBecky Pallack Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Pima County will add another construction project to the mix on the northwest side in a few weeks.

The $5 million project will add one lane in each direction to Orange Grove Road between Camino de la Tierra and La Cholla Boulevard, which should ease traffic congestion, said project manager Frank Castro.

Crews also will add paved shoulders for bicyclists.

Preliminary utility work on Orange Grove is just about done. Construction will begin in mid-May and take about 10 months, Castro said.

"We're trying to shorten these (projects) up as best we can so it's less interference with traffic," he said.

Traffic will be shifted to one side of the road while crews build the new lane on the other side, and then they'll switch.

One lane in each direction will be open during the project, but expect to slow down in the construction zone.

SAFETY REALITY CHECK

Know somebody who could use a reality check when it comes to using a phone while driving?

Allstate will bring its Reality Rides driving simulator to the Pima County Fair on Thursday.

In the simulator, drivers must steer and use the gas and brake pedals while talking or texting on the phone. They discover the consequences of distracted driving, and they are issued mock traffic tickets, according to an Allstate press release.

It's one more fun thing to do at the fair this year, but it could help your loved ones stay safe, too. Distracted driving is the top cause of car crashes in the nation, Allstate says.

DOWN THE ROAD

• Alvernon Way will get repaved between 22nd and 29th streets beginning Tuesday and ending May 17. Traffic will be down to two lanes, so expect delays.

• Cortaro Farms Road/Magee Road will be paved between Mona Lisa Road and La Cañada Drive this week. Expect delays due to lane closures and detours. Watch for deputies directing traffic.

• You can learn about the Oracle-Ina intersection improvement project at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Odilia Catholic Church, 7570 N. Paseo del Norte.

ROAD Q

Philip Stanley wonders what's up with an upcoming road closure on Rita Road near the railroad tracks. "I use this section of Rita Road on my daily commute and will have to find an alternate route," he writes.

A: There are a lot of moving parts here, and the schedule isn't complete, but here's what we know so far.

The work on Rita includes a county project to shrink the median islands to make room for bike lanes, said project manager Nancy Cole. That work will happen from early May to mid-June and will probably include traffic restrictions.

It also includes a city project to add a turn lane and improve the traffic signal at Science Park Drive later this summer, said city spokesman Michael Graham.

Last, there's a Union Pacific project to improve the tracks. The road could be closed at the tracks for that work, but we don't yet know when.

But you have plenty of time to test out Kolb Road as an alternative route.

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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