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Road Runner: Historic downtown Tucson building for sale to buyer willing to move it
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Road Runner

Road Runner: Historic downtown Tucson building for sale to buyer willing to move it

The historic Sixth Avenue underpass pump house is for sale. It will be removed to help make way for the downtown links project.

A historic Tucson building built in 1936 and among the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is up for sale to make way for an ongoing major downtown construction project.

The Stone Avenue Underpass Pump House, a 142.5-square-foot structure in the Warehouse Historic District, is available for a “serious buyer” who can pay all costs associated with removing it from the southwest corner of Stone Avenue and Sixth Street.

As part of the Downtown Links Project that will connect Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10, the pump house’s removal will make way for a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge.

Along with the underpass, the pump house is on the National Register of Historic Places multiple-property submission for vehicular bridges in Arizona, city officials said. The underpass will not be delisted from the national register after the pump house removal.

It will also remain visible after the Downtown Links project is completed.

The costs could range between $30,000 to $60,000, and the structure would need to be relocated by mid-September “and in coordination with the project team because it is still an active pump house,” project officials said.

All required permits must be received before the relocation. Potential buyers have until midnight July 1 to submit their offer for the structure with reinforced concrete walls and roof with a “decorative, arched coping on the exterior,” the Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility said.

Buyers must provide “verifiable evidence” that no damage will come to the structure when moved.

If no buyer is found, the structure will be demolished.

The fate of the structure will be up to the Tucson City Council at its Aug. 9 meeting.

The small, rectangular pump house uses two float-activated sump pumps that draw water from the basin of the underpass when “extreme” storm runoff occurs, officials said. It then discharges the water into the storm-drain system.

New drainage infrastructure will take over the duties of the pump house. The new storm drain pipes will use gravity and will be part of a larger pipe culvert system carrying water to the Santa Cruz River, according to the Regional Transportation Authority.

“No more flooding of the Stone Avenue underpass as the new system will be capable of handling the monsoon events that Tucson experiences,” said David Burbank, project manager for Downtown Links in a news release. “We’re going to build it up to where it can handle the flow.”

The Downtown Links project, which began in August 2020, is set for completion in early 2023.

Some of its main features will be four new bridges, including a multi-use pedestrian bridge.

Crews are currently on Phase III of the project, according to the Regional Transportation Authority.

The work in this phase includes: reconstruction of the Tucson Arroyo culvert between Sixth and 10th avenues; construction of a new Sixth Street alignment, railroad underpass, and Ninth Avenue Deck Plaza; and construction of the new four-lane roadway, Sixth Avenue Bridge, and a shared-use pathway from Sixth Street to Broadway.

Most of the project’s funding comes from $76.1 million in Regional Transportation Authority as part of the voter-approved plan from 2006. Another $8.5 million will come from Highway User Revenue Funds.

Down the Road

I-19 closures for the summer

Interstate 19 motorists should expect north and southbound travel to be reduced to one lane near the Sahuarita Road interchange.

The closures will allow crews to build barrier walls ahead of upcoming bridge work. The closures will last until crews complete their work in August.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.

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