City leaders vote to move forward on Broadway widening

Published: Apr. 19, 2016 at 11:46 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 20, 2016 at 3:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The highly controversial Broadway Boulevard widening project was talked about before mayor and city council on Tuesday night, April 19.

Tucson's mayor and city council voted to grant authority for the project to start acquiring properties and businesses.

The project will widen a two-mile stretch of East Broadway Boulevard from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road from four lanes to six.

In May 2006, voters approved the Broadway Expansion Project and its half-cent sales-tax funding. It is a $71 million Regional Transportation Authority project.

Public response was mixed, some were for the expansion.

"I'm very happy that Mayor and city council had the wisdom and courage to move this project forward and not send it back for further review," Craig Finfrock said.

"I'm thrilled. I think it's the right thing for the community and the compromise," Richard Rose said. "It's not a perfect plan but it reflects what the community wants."

Others were opposed.

"I'm extremely disappointed for a number of reasons. One thing Councilman (Steve) Kozachik pointed out is they voted that within 180 days of purchase of any property they'll demolish the building but we were told over and over that acquisition does not mean demolition," Margot Garcia said. "So once again we've been lied to."

"I was very disappointed," Mark Homan said. "The motion was pretty much meaningless. They said they should consider this and talk. We've been considering and talking. They've totally ignored and shut people out."

Now the RTA board will have to approve and provide the funding needed to buy the buildings and businesses affected by the expansion. Actual construction will not start until 2018.

Before the meeting even began people handed out "Save Broadway" stickers. Other groups carried signs against the Broadway expansion, saying it will add unnecessary Sun Tran stops and hurt ridership.

Some were in favor of the project continuing, stating too many delays and wanting the project to move forward.

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