La Cholla to reopen after roadway washed away from flooding - The Explorer: News

La Cholla to reopen after roadway washed away from flooding

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Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:27 pm | Updated: 8:51 pm, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

La Cholla Road at the Canada Del Oro Wash will likely reopen late this afternoon after being closed down due to a piece of roadway washing away, the result of the weekend’s heavy rainfall.

The area of Overton Road and the Canada Del Oro Wash has also been routinely shut down, as is practice when rainfall hits the area, according to Department of Transportation Program Manager Annabelle Valenzuela. This area will likely remain closed until rainfall is no longer expected.

There is not yet an estimated cost on the damage in the first closure, but Valenzuela said one edge of the roadway does need replacement.

Pima County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tom Peine reported a swift water rescue in the wash on Friday when a vehicle became stuck in the floodwaters. Nobody was injured in the rescue.

The intersection of La Cholla and Overton has seen repeated closures as a result of flooding from the intersecting wash, a problem Pima County and the Regional Transportation Authority have taken notice of, and are in the process of resolving with a $28 million roadway project which will see the introduction of divided four-lane bridge to run past the Canada Del Oro Wash.

“This will resolve the weather issues and upon completion will be an all-weather road,” said Valenzuela.

According to Priscilla Cornelio, Director of Pima County Department of Transportation, the project will take about a year and a half to complete. Markham Contracting has been selected to construct the 600-foot-long bridge that will not only resolve the flooding issue, but also provide bike lanes, sidewalks, and noise reduction walls.

“We think all adjacent neighborhoods will be very pleased with the outcome of the project,” said Project Manager Dean Papajohn.

Papajohn added that the project will also bring safety benefits to the public, such as improved sight distances, drainage, intersection geometry, pedestrian ways, and median curbs for access control.

According to the National Weather Service, Friday was a record-breaking day for rainfall with .71 inches of rain, topping the previous record of .67 inches set in 1985. Parts of Tucson reportedly received up to 1.25 inches, including the areas of Ina and Oracle roads. The rainy weather is expected to clear out by Tuesday.

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