Progress Report: Multi-agency Sunset Road-Interstate 10 project moving forward

Many projects in the voter-approved Regional Transportation Authority plan (RTA) are designed to increase capacity on current roadways and enhance existing connections. A few, however, create entirely new connections that complete needed transportation corridors to help move people through the region more efficiently. 

Sunset Road, Silverbell Road to River Road, which is being constructed in conjunction with the Interstae 10, Ina Road to Ruthrauff Road widening, is one of those projects.

A bridge on Sunset Road over Interstate 10 under construction.
A bridge on Sunset Road over Interstate 10 under construction.

“The final Sunset roadway will provide a high-quality, high-functioning addition to the current roadway network serving this part of the region,” said Rick Ellis, director of transportation services with Pima Association of Governments, which manages the RTA. “Completing this one joint project will give you two completed corridors.”  

When finalized, Sunset Road will connect Silverbell and River roads, through an I-10 interchange, with bridges over the Union Pacific Railroad and Rillito River. A previous segment saw construction of a Sunset Road bridge over the Santa Cruz River. 

The final roadway will have three to four traffic lanes with a median, a signalized intersection at River Road, bike lanes, sidewalks and a multi-use path. In addition, there will be connections to Pima County’s Chuck Huckelberry Loop on both sides of the Rillito River, both sides of the Santa Cruz River, and near the intersection of Sunset Road and I-10 Frontage Road.  

Ellis also described the multi-agency project as a “pressure release” because it will reduce the demands on the busy freeway interchanges at Orange Grove Road and El Camino del Cerro/Ruthrauff Road.

The project combines the planning and resources of four agencies – Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the RTA. The collaboration allowed the integration of both Sunset projects on either side of I-10 with ADOT’s Sunset Road interchange. 

Pima County Department of Transportation has a project website with additional construction details, including an interactive map and links to project renderings. Additional information is available at the ADOT project page.

The multi-year project is expected to wrap up in late 2025.