Expect Delays: Here Is Your 2022 Guide to Tucson-Area Road Projects

As we move into 2022, there are plenty of orange cones and detour signs warning of road construction across the community. The Arizona Department of Transportation will continue long-awaited improvements along Oracle Road, along with multiple freeway projects. The widening of Broadway Boulevard between downtown and Country Club Road is nearly complete, while a new phase of the Grant Road widening is set to begin in midtown. Pima County will be conducting multiple million-dollar projects to widen Houghton Road and Kolb Road, among other projects. Here is a more in depth look of what you can expect from Tucson construction in 2022. 

City of Tucson

Work is nearly finished on one of the city’s longest-awaited projects: the widening of Broadway Boulevard between Euclid to Country Club to six lanes in each direction. The project will include bus pullouts, buffered bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscaping, along with a new underground storm system. A BikeHAWK installation will be at Treat and Broadway to better help pedestrians and bicyclists cross the busy road. City transportation planners say the project will be complete in February 2022.

Meanwhile, the nearby Downtown Links, which will run alongside the Union Pacific tracks from the Broadway and Barraza-Aviation Parkway intersection to St. Mary’s Road, is in its third phase of construction with a completion date of mid-2023. On the horizon: The Sixth Street and Seventh Avenue intersection is estimated to reopen by March 2022. Construction crews are currently working to connect to the existing underground box culvert and will also replace curbs and sidewalks, repave the intersection, and construct the bridge over Sixth Avenue, south of Seventh Street. 

Construction on Houghton Road between Valencia Road and Mary Ann Cleveland Way, which began in September of 2020, is expected to be done in January 2022. The project includes a new six-lane landscaped roadway with improvements for drainage, street lighting, bikes lanes, sidewalks, bus pullouts and new traffic signals at Rita Road. 

Several major projects will begin in 2022.

The ongoing Grant Road Improvement Project, which is expanding Grant Road to six lanes, will begin work from Palo Verde Boulevard to Venice Place. Transportation planners expect to begin this project in the summer 2020, with an estimated duration of 18-24 months. Construction includes improvements in two new travel lanes, new and wider sidewalks, more crosswalks with signals, improved bicycle lanes, and enhanced landscaping. 

The 22nd Street Improvement Project will start work between Kino Parkway to Tucson Boulevard in spring/summer of 2022. This phase of the project includes a new bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and widening the road from two to three lanes in each direction, along with a separated pedestrian and bicycle bridge. 

A project to widen Silverbell Road to a four-lane divided desert parkway between El Camino del Cerro to Goret Road is set to begin in fall 2022. The project will include landscaped median islands, bike lanes, new sidewalks, upgraded drainage systems, traffic signal improvements and art elements. 

Through the voter-approved Tucson Delivers Better Streets, multiple arterial and residential roads through the city of Tucson have been repaved and revamped. Those roads include Sixth Avenue, Westgate Townhouses, and Hiawatha Hills and Teresa Terrace. 

Arterial roads that still need to be repaved and revamped include Main Avenue and Granada Avenue. Construction for Main Avenue began in November 2021. Reconstruction of Granada Avenue is expected to begin in February 2022. 

Planned road improvements for arterial roads expected to begin in 2022 include:

•  Fort Lowell Road, from Country Club Road to Alvernon Way. 

• Glenn Street, from Alvernon Way to Swan Road

• Grant Road, from Venice Place to Beverly Avenue 

• Wilmot Road, from Grant Road to Pima Street

• Grant Road, from Craycroft Road to Wilmot Road

• Silverbell Road, from Saint Mary’s Road to Congress Street

• Camino Seco, from Golf Links Road to Irvington Road

• Pantano Road, from Broadway to 22nd Street

• Bear Canyon Road, from Bear Paw Place to Tanque Verde Road

• Broadway from Houghton Road to Tanque Verde Lane

• 22nd Street, from Houghton Road to Melpomene Way

• Melpomene Way, from 22nd Street to Calle Catalina

• Sabino Canyon Road, Acoma Place

Residential roads in various neighborhoods are also being repaired.

Arizona Department of Transportation

The Arizona Department of Transportation is managing work on State Route 77, better known as Oracle Road.

Last year, ADOT began a $34 million SR-77 improvement project on Oracle Road from Oro Valley’s Calle Concordia to Tucson’s Miracle Mile and on Miracle Mile from Oracle to I-10, with an estimated 2023 completion date. Improvements include repaving the 10-mile segment, adding ADA-compliant sidewalks, building new dual left turn lanes at Oracle and Magee, adding LED lighting, and improving drainage and signals. In 2021, the state completed work between Calle Concordia and Magee Road and along Miracle Mile; this year, work will continue in between those points.

On the freeways: ADOT finished construction on the I-10 and Ruthrauff Road interchange in 2021. This $129 million reconstruction project consisted of adding one lane in each direction of the highway and building a new bridge to carry traffic on Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro over I-10 and the railroad tracks.

Another interchange reconstruction project was completed in 2021 at I-10’s Houghton Road exit. This $24.4 million project improvements included widening Houghton from two to six lanes, updating entrance and exit ramps, and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Moving into 2022, there will be reconstruction on I-10 between Ina and Ruthrauff roads. Improvements include adding one lane along with an auxiliary lane in each direction, as well as adding dual-lane entrance and exit ramps at Orange Grove and Sunset roads. 

Pavement rehabilitation will be done on I-10 between Ajo Way and Rita Road. Pavement preservation work will be done on I-10 from Tangerine to Ina Road, On I-19 , pavement preservation will take place from Valencia Road to Ajo Way and from Pima Mine to Papago roads. 

Pima County

Pima County is wrapping up some long-planned projects this year.

A $30 million project of widening Houghton Road approximately three miles from Interstate 10 south past the Pima County Fairgrounds to Pantano High School is already underway, with an estimated completion date of December 2022. The project will reconstruct the current two-lane roadway to a divided four-lane section. 

This spring, the Pima County Department of Transportation is wrapping up a $19.5 million project on Kolb Road from Sabino Canyon to Sunrise Drive, transforming roughly 1.9 miles of Kolb Road from a two-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway.  There will also be a roundabout installed at the intersection of Territory and Kolb roads. 

Through a $3 million project, the intersection of Sahuarita Road and Wilmot Road will be installing a traffic signal and will be widening its roadways for both right and left turning lanes. There will also be an installation of parallel drainage channels to push storm water west. This project should wrap in the spring of 2022. 

The Pima County Department of Transportation will be working with the Arizona Department of Transportation to design a roadway that connects Sunset Road from I-10 to River Road. This $34 million project is currently in the design phase, with construction projected to begin in October 2022.

Marana

Through the course of 2021, Marana has completed many projects, including improvements to streets in the Adonis subdivision to create better drainage, pavement preservation work in 50 subdivisions and rehabilitating large arterials such as Cortaro Road, Thornydale Road, Costco Drive and Avra Valley Road.

Moving forward into the fiscal year of 2022, eight subdivisions and 10 arterial roadways will be preserved. Rehabilitation projects include Twin Peaks Road from Saguaro Bloom Road to Sanders Road, as well as Grier Road and Silverbell Road north of Twin Peaks Road. 

Construction to look out for include the Silverbell Road Sidewalk Infill, which is in its second phase. New concrete sidewalks will be placed alongside the eastbound side of Silverbell Road from Carefree Way to Cortaro Road. Modifications will be made at the intersection of Silverbell and Cortaro roads. 

Also on the agenda: Reconstruction of Lon Adams Road between Grier Road and Barnett Road, including improvements to public water and sewer systems, storm water drainage, curbs, sidewalks, street lighting, landscaping and new paving. 

Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2022 at the intersection of Mountain Stone Pine and Douglas Fir roads, including an area to the west of the intersection. The intersection will be stabilized through repaving, curb and sidewalk replacement, and the leveling of mailboxes. 

Projects that are planning to be complete within 2022 to 2023 include the widening of Tangerine Road and both Twin Peaks Road and Rattlesnake Pass. 

The town of Marana is also designing a roundabout intersection improvement at Twin Peaks and Sandario roads. 

Oro Valley

Oro Valley doesn’t have major transportation projects on the horizon in 2022, although the town will continue with its Pavement Preservation Program and ADOT will continue with work along Oracle Road, as noted above.

In addition, ADOT will do a pavement preservation project Oracle Road from Calle Concordia to Tangerine Road and on SaddleBrooke Drive. 

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