By Tom Howard

Vail Road, Colossal Cave, and I-10 Project: This project started on August 21st, 2019. Prep work and staging are underway to build the bypass on I-10 to allow work to begin on the SR 83 bridge that crosses the interstate. Once the bypass is constructed in the median, the bridge will be taken down to one lane and be controlled by a portable traffic signal. Expect delays in this area as work will continue well into 2020. Once the SR 83 bridge is complete, crews will move down to the Vail Road/Colossal Cave Road interchange and will complete the same work at this location. Speed limits will be reduced for all aspects of construction and will remain for the duration of the project.

Rita, Kolb and Wilmot Traffic Signals: Finally, as promised, the poles have arrived, and crews are busy putting them in place. Wilmot is nearing completion and Kolb Road and Rita Road has seen plenty of activity with poles being raised at the interchange. Once all poles and signals are installed, the sites will be energized and put into flash mode before being activated. Please pay attention and be prepared for traffic control changes coming soon.

Houghton & I-10: Crews are well on their way to getting the final base completed for the new northbound side of Houghton. I would expect paving to begin shortly. This project is well on its way to be completed by the holiday season.

Houghton/Valencia to Mary Ann Cleveland: Utility work has begun for the next section of widening for Houghton Road from Mary Ann Cleveland to Valencia Road. Crews from Northern Pipeline and Southwest Gas have begun relocating gas lines along Houghton and Rita Roads. The widening phase is set to begin later this year. See highlights below.

Design for this project began in August 2017. The design concept and initial design were established during the conceptual design phase which started in 2006. Improvements will extend from just south of the Valencia Road intersection to immediately north of the Mary Ann Cleveland Way intersection. The process is anticipated to take 24 months. Public meetings were held in October 2018 and May 2019. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020.

Improvements include:

Widening Houghton Road to a six-lane desert parkway with median

Left-turn lanes and dedicated right-turn lanes at the Rita Road intersection. New traffic signal and lighting at Rita Road. Drainage improvements to provide all-weather access during major storms. Bus pullouts. Improved asphalt surface. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Native landscaping with water harvesting. Roadway lighting. Public art.

Funding: The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is a state-established political subdivision within Pima County that collects a half-cent excise tax from the RTA’s special taxing district. The tax funds the RTA’s 20-year regional transportation plan, which voters in the district approved in May 2006 along with the excise tax. To date, the RTA has invested over $1 billion in the region to deliver transportation projects and services that improve our region’s mobility, safety, economic vitality and quality of life. This project is managed by the City of Tucson. Please visit for more information.

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