Cortaro Rd. construction expected to create more traffic headaches

Cortaro Rd. construction expected to create more traffic headaches

PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) - A construction project on Cortaro Farms Road is expected to create even more headaches for drivers in an area already seeing heavy traffic due to Project Ina.

Prep work is underway to widen Cortaro between Thornydale and Camino de Oste, about 1.3 miles.

The project is expected to officially begin at the end of September.

People who drive in the area daily say the improvements are needed on the bumpy road.

The road will be stretched from two lanes to four lanes. That means there will be double lanes on each side, creating a better flow of traffic.

But the project will take some time. Work is planned for 18 months; however, the Pima County Transportation Department said it hopes work will be completed sooner than that.

One lane will be open in each direction for the duration of the project, according to the county.

Drivers like Robert Hammond who travel the area daily are frustrated that this project will happen at the same time as Project Ina. Many drivers already use Cortaro Farms as an alternate route for Ina.

"I'd say it's three years too late. It should've been completed before they did Ina. I understand the money's running out so get with the program," said Hammond.

The county said it's a race against the clock because they will lose funds from the project if they don't do it now.

Steve Baldwin, who runs a steakhouse, said the Ina construction has been a blessing for his business because it has pushed drivers to Cortaro Farms, giving his restaurant more exposure.

Baldwin said the project will likely create more congestion near his business but he hopes that doesn't deter customers.

Other improvements drivers will see are sound walls decked out with art, storm drain work, updated landscaping, repaving and added road markings.

Crews will also update the light at Oldfather Road to reflect the new lanes.

The county will host an open house at Quail Run Elementary School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Officials will go over the plan and the the time frame, and answer questions.

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