Dec 26, 2013 11:40 PM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - Drivers are going to see major construction across Tucson to fix potholes.
In November 2012, City of Tucson voters approved Proposition 409, a property tax that will put $100 million into the roads. The measure passed by fewer than 1,000 votes, which is less than 1 percent.
The proposition requires $20 million in construction each year for 5 years. It officially began in Fiscal Year 2014, which started July 1, 2013. With about 6 months to go this fiscal year, the city has probably spent less than $2 million, according to Director of Transportation, Daryl Cole.
"You're going to see lots of barricades, lots of orange barrels, and a whole bunch of work," Cole said. "Most of the work, we hope to do in the evenings or at night. But there is going to be some daytime work typically between 9 and 4 as well, to try to get this finished up. So we've got a lot of work to be done in the future, but we got a lot of the contracts set up and ready to go."
A citizen group of volunteers is watching the money to make sure it is spent appropriately. The vast majority is being spent on major arteries through the city, with $3 million per year spent in residential areas. The main roads are already planned, but the citizen board is still considering which neighborhoods will get repairs.
"Understand that construction is a good thing," Cole said. "Be patient with the folks out there and understand that we're trying to work on your behalf. And please be careful when driving through the construction zones."
The City is working especially hard to repair Houghton Road south of Interstate 10. Planners want it ready before the Pima County Fair, which starts April 17, 2014. The project is supposed to cost about $800,000 over 45 days, according to Cole.