TDOT, Pima Flood District teaming up to improve flood control ahead of Monsoon

Getting ready for monsoon rains

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson and Pima County are teaming up to keep water off of roads and out of neighborhoods.

“It was sad to see,” Carmen Urrutia said about a neighbor’s house flooding. “(We) were crying because her house flooded and no one could do anything about it. It was at least 2 or 3 feet of water."

Urrutia lives in the El Rio neighborhood, which is on the west side of Tucson and said they have battled flooding for decades.

“I’ve been here 47 years and it’s something that we’ve just been accustomed to,” Urrutia said.

Relief could be on the way.

The City of Tucson Department of Transportation is partnering with the Pima County Flood Control District to better handle flooding in the El Rio Neighborhood. Soon a 90-day project will create detention basins to hold runoff during monsoons.

City officials say every new road project, including those on Broadway and the recently completed project along Grant Road, require the installation of underground flood control systems, which help alleviate flooding.

“In the old days you would lay down three inches of asphalt on a dirt road and that was it,” says Mike Graham, public information officer for the Tucson Department of Transportation. “Now we have standards, and that includes underground flood control. The storm water on these new roadways will now go under the roadway as opposed to going over it.”

Other long terms projects including Downtown Links, which when completed in 2022 will eliminate flooding at the underpasses on Stone and Sixth Avenue.

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