After a long wait, a highly anticipated project in Pima County is finally underway.
On Tucson’s northwest side, Thornydale Road has exploded in population and people, with more houses and traffic then ever before. For 21 years, residents have been waiting for much-needed road repairs.
Back in 1997, voters approved a bond for road works, although the project has been on hold for a long time. Although crews were ready to begin construction in 1999, the Pygmy Owl became an endangered species. Officials discovered a Pygmy Owl had moved in to the area of Arthur Pack Regional Park, close to Thornydale and Overton Roads. The project had to be halted, while other road work went ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, local residents have been struggling with the extremely rough roads riddled with potholes and bumps. Although some minor work has been completed, there’s been no improvements even comparable to the original project’s plans in 1997. The road has not been upgraded or significantly maintained, and now that the project is back on track, residents are saying it’s about time.
According to the county’s website, the project will cost upwards of $3.7 million and feature improvements to a 3.5-mile stretch of Thornydale Road, including the actual road, turn lanes, and shoulder. This area is from Cortaro Farms Road to the south and Camino del Norte to the north.
Now, the road work will happen in an area with intense congestion, considering major traffic work is underway near Thornydale Road, such as Cortaro Farms Road construction, Tangerine Road and Project Ina. But officials couldn’t hold off on the Thornydale trouble any longer.
The bond for the Thornydale project will not expire if it goes unused, unlike the project on Cortaro Farms Road, but it is still important for the city to get it done.
Crews are expected to start work at the beginning of next month, and they plan to have everything done by the time El Tour de Tucson rolls around in November. This is the largest and longest-running bicycling gathering in the state, and thousands of participants will bike along this section of Thornydale Road.