The calendar year is nearly over, and it has been a busy one for the Regional Transportation Authority and its member jurisdictions. Over the past 13 months, three major projects have been completed including two road widening projects and an improvement to an I-10 interchange.
The most recent project to be completed is the widening of Broadway Boulevard, between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road, from four to six lanes. The improved roadway in the City of Tucson also has features for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users which include bike lanes plus, buffer zone between vehicles and the bike lanes, sidewalks, signalized pedestrian crossings and bus pullouts.
“In addition to improving safety and mobility and reducing congestion, the completion of this segment will provide opportunities for future development and commercial uses,” said RTA Director of Transportation Services Rick Ellis. “It also provides better connectivity along the Sunshine Mile and downtown Tucson.”
In the spring, the widening project for Houghton Road, from Valencia to Mary Ann Cleveland Way, was completed in the City of Tucson. The project widened the roadway to six lanes with a median and added left- and right-turn lanes at the Rita Road intersection. The project used asphalt mixed with aramid fibers, which is used to lengthen the life of the road surface.
Other improvements included new streetlights and a new traffic signal at Rita Road, a new multiuse pathway, public art, native landscaping with water harvesting, and drainage improvements to improve safety during storms.
“The project improved safety, reduced congestion and improved mobility for this vital north/south corridor serving the eastern portion of the region,” said Ellis.
The completion of this segment continued the series of improvements that have been made to Houghton Road as part of the 20-year RTA plan with more improvements on the horizon.
At the end of 2021, the reconstruction of the Ruthrauff Road and El Camino del Cerro interchange with Interstate 10 was completed by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The project was finished ahead of schedule by 30 days.
“The improvements associated with this project provided the additional capacity and operational enhancements to improve the safety and overall traffic flow for both Ruthrauff and Interstate 10,” Ellis said.
The major elements of the project included adding traffic lanes on I-10, adding lanes to the interchange for Ruthrauff/El Camino del Cerro traffic, and constructing the roadway over the railroad, eliminating the at-grade railroad crossing. Vehicles no longer have to wait at the railroad crossing, speeding up travel and providing increased safety for vehicles and trains.
These are three projects within the 35 regional corridor projects included in the 2006 voter-approved Regional Transportation Authority plan.