The Metropolitan Pima Alliance presented Pima County a Common Ground Award for The Loop and Share Use Path Extension and Underpass at Cortaro Road. The underpass provides easy off-street access to Wade McLean Park and El Rio Park in Marana. The County received the award in the Public Works category.
“The Loop is a critical asset for the County,” says County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “With over 100 miles of off-street paths, it’s a quality of life amenity that can be used to attract high-wage employers to the region.”
“The Loop is the hub of the metropolitan area; it links to almost every one of the jurisdictions. So The Loop becomes the main corridor—for pedestrians, bikes, and other alternative transportation modes. It’s a great way to reach any destination, whether you’re going to work, school, restaurants, or shopping.”
Numerous small businesses have started to pop up along The Loop, thus creating additional economic opportunities for the community. The Loop provides an accessible place for exercise and recreation. It also brings to the region biking enthusiasts, bird watchers, and other tourists. “The League of American Bicyclists calls The Loop a ‘must ride,’ ” says Andy Clarke, League President, who rode in El Tour de Tucson in November and spent an extra day in the area to ride The Loop.
The Loop path encompasses both banks of four major river systems or waterways. Pima County residents and visitors can enjoy biking, walking, or running along the Rillito River, the Santa Cruz River, the Pantano Wash, the Julian Wash and the Harrison Greenway. The Loop also has path extensions along tributary washes or extensions. These include the Tanque Verde Wash, the Cañada del Oro Wash, and north and south of the Santa Cruz River.
More than one third of the metropolitan population lives within a half mile of The Loop or Loop extensions.
Pima County’s partners in The Loop are: City of Tucson, Town of Marana, Town of Oro Valley, City of South Tucson, Regional Transportation Authority, and the Arizona Department of Transportation.