Pima County's transportation director is fond of saying that if you left Tucson's northwest side for a few years and came back recently, you wouldn't recognize the place.
"It's been totally transformed," Priscilla Cornelio told the Northwest Area Transportation Coalition last week.
"You have now wider roads; you don't have the congestion; we have bike lanes; we have pedestrian walkways; all of the drainage is being taken care of," she said.
There's more to come, too. Here are some of the new projects starting in the next several months.
A trio of projects is coming to Orange Grove this spring.
Between Camino de la Tierra and La Cholla Boulevard, Orange Grove will be widened to add one lane in each direction and bike lanes.
Between La Cañada Drive and Oracle Road, Orange Grove will get a new center turn lane and bike lanes.
Utility relocations and other preparations are under way for both of those projects.
Plus, bike lanes will be added to Orange Grove Road between Oracle and First Avenue over the Pima Wash.
"I know it sounds like we're hitting Orange Grove a lot of ways at the same time. The benefit is, when we're done, we walk away and we haven't strung it out," said Rick Ellis, engineering division manager.
Another big project, the much anticipated Ina-Oracle roads intersection project, which includes indirect left turns, hit a speed bump in the procurement process. Now construction is gearing up to start in March.
Finally, the third phase of construction on the Magee Road widening will come in early summer. The first two phases are finished. The new section is on the east end of the project, from La Cañada to Oracle Road.
Down The Road
• The city's pavement repair program will move to the north side this week.
Watch for crews on Wetmore Road between Fairview Avenue and Oracle Road, River Road between First and Campbell avenues, Campbell between River and Prince Road, and Alvernon Way between Dodge Boulevard and Fort Lowell Road.
• Mark your calendar for the next community meeting about the proposed widening of Broadway between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road. It's planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Sabbar Shrine Center, 450 S. Tucson Blvd.
"What happened to the bond issue for street repair?" Don Schneider asks. "As I recall, the issue passed."
A: Proposition 409 passed by fewer than 1,000 votes in November. Now the city is gearing up to issue the bonds in May or June, spokesman Mike Graham said.
Work will begin in July. Soon, city leaders will appoint 11 people to a new bond oversight commission, which will help select some of the neighborhood-level projects and make sure the money is spent appropriately. Stay tuned.
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