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The Pima County Board of Supervisors accepted a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in a 4-0 vote during last week’s meeting. The money will go toward improvements to the Port of Tucson Container Export Rail Facility.
Tucson motorists need to be prepared for road restrictions this week on the newly widened section of Interstate 10 between Ruthrauff and Prince roads as crews begin final paving on the eastbound lanes to create a smooth driving surface, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Crews will return one week later to apply the new top layer of rubberized asphalt on the westbound lanes.
Pinal County has a compelling logistics story to tell. First, think of Guaymas, Mexico. There are several deep-water ports on the west coast of the United States and Mexico.
Marana’s proximity to the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas makes it one of the better-positioned communities in the state. With Interstate 10, the Union Pacific Railroad and two airports within the town’s borders and planning area, Marana has become a hub for people wanting to live or do business in Southern Arizona.
After forming an exploratory committee to consider running for governor, Sen. Al Melvin, R-District 11, is confident that his bold ideas could lead him to the state’s top position in 2014.
A trove of information exists about Abraham Lincoln's funeral, which drew millions of mourners during a two-week railway procession across the Northern states.
But until now, the precise color of the president's railcar had been lost to history.
With the 2015 sesquicentennial of Lincoln's death approaching, interest in it is rising, and with new tools, researchers at the University of Arizona have turned their attention to one of the last remaining mysteries about what was "perhaps the largest traditional funeral in American history," says Wayne Wesolowski.
Wesolowski, a chemist and model train maker, was director of the Lincoln Train Project at Benedictine University near Chicago for 10 years. In 1995, he completed a years-long project of building a scale model of Lincoln's car, the locomotive and hearse and horses, all together measuring nearly 15 feet in length.
After 30 years as a chemistry professor at Benedictine, Wesolowski retired to Tucson, and continues to teach as a chemistry lecturer at the UA.
A Chicago group known as the Lincoln Funeral Car Project approached Wesolowski to consult on their efforts to build a full-size version of Lincoln's funeral car, intending to trace as closely as possible the funeral route for the 150th anniversary. An obvious question: what color to paint the new replica?
However, no color photographs, no color lithographs and no contemporary color paintings exist of Lincoln's private car, named "The United States." Newspaper accounts from the time describe the color as both "rich chocolate brown" and "claret red." But "chocolate" in 1865 was strictly a drink, very different from the milk chocolate we know today, so the two descriptions are compatible.
The car burned in a fire in 1911, having been sold at auction to Union Pacific after the funeral and passing through several private hands afterward. Just one artifact of exterior wood survived, and after years of searching, Wesolowski acquired a pencil sized piece of trim.
Using three separate labs at the UA – inchemistry/biochemistry (Brook Beam, Keck Imaging Center), art (Karen Zimmermann, Jack Sinclair Letterpress Studio) and the Arizona State Museum – Wesolowski set about investigating for the true color.
And with the help of Nancy Odegaard, conservator and head of the preservation division, comparing layers of microscopic paint chips from the original car to national color standards, Wesolowski at last found the true original color, which he describes as a dark maroon, darker, but not too far off of what he'd painted his model.
The effort at historical exactness reflects on how deeply the country mourned Lincoln's death. In early 1865, the United States Military Railroad delivered Lincoln a private railroad car for presidential use. But Lincoln never used the car alive. His presidential funeral procession left Washington on April 21, 1865, closely retracing the route Lincoln traveled as president-elect in 1861, bypassing cities with a large number of Southern sympathizers.
"It was a procession of mourning and without TV or radio, the only way to participate was to leave the farm, close the store and come trackside," Wesolowski says. "Just being there was so important. It was a colossal event."
Millions of Americans – an estimated one-third of the Northern population – came in person to see the funeral. In New York and Chicago, the crowds topped a half-million. In the countryside, people lined the tracks just to glimpse the train as it passed, similar to the Robert Kennedy funeral train.
"It was a political event. It was a social event. It was a catharsis. The man who said in victory, 'Malice toward none,' was dead," Wesolowski says. "There is now a chance to re-create a little of that history."
The Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers that plan to travel overnight on Interstate 10 between Tucson and Benson on Friday, March 8 to consider altering their travel plans or prepare for a 67-mile detour due to a bridge demolition project.
In her State of the State address last Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer expressed her continued optimism about the direction of Arizona’s economy, and called for increased competition in the realms of job creation and education.
Train tracks at Cortaro Road will be closed for 12 hours next weekend for construction.
Union Pacific Railroad's double track effort through Arizona from Los Angeles to El Paso has made an appearance in Northwest Tucson, with two major road crossings closed for several days each while UP crews rebuilt them to accommodate the second set of railroad tracks.
Ames Construction Inc. will close the train track crossing at Massingale Road to perform construction for Union Pacific Railroad.
Imagine if a company wanted to start a project in Arizona that would help our economy by offering:
Ames Construction Inc. will be closing the train track crossing at Cortaro Road to perform construction for Union Pacific Railroad.
Ames Construction Inc. will be closing Ina Road, east of the westbound I-10 frontage road, to construct a second crossing for the Union Pacific Railroad. The closure begins Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. and lasts until Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. All traffic will be detoured on to Thornydale or Oldfather road when approaching from the east side of the crossing and either Orange Grove or Cortaro road when approaching from the westbound I-10 frontage road or west of the crossing.
A report by an economic consultant commissioned by the Arizona State Land Department says that state trust land adjacent to acreage being considered for sale to Union Pacific Railroad (UP) for a switching yard would be affected by the sale and that infrastructure improvements to adjacent land should be paid for by the purchaser of the rail yard property.
The stretch of West Ina Road between Silverbell Road and Star Commerce Way that includes a bridge across the Santa Cruz River will look quite different in a few years after the town of Marana and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) turn the two-lane road into a four-lane improved roadway.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. and continuing through Tuesday, Aug. 21 until 6 a.m., construction crews will be completing pavement markings on Tangerine Road from the Union Pacific Railroad to Thornydale Road. Motorists may be subject to reduced speeds and detours to accommodate this operation.
The Arizona State Land Department is reviewing two reports of consultants charged with preparing an engineering assessment and an economic assessment of the possible sale of 900 acres of state trust land near Picacho Peak to Union Pacific Railroad for a proposed switching yard.
The July 4th holiday ended on a tragic note for a male in his 30s after he was struck by a train near Highway Drive and Curtis Roads. The incident occurred near Ruthrauff and Interstate 10.
A near-standing room only crowd of approximately 125 individuals filled a room at Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center last week to voice their opinions at an Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) public hearing on the Interstate 10/Ina Road Traffic Interchange to Ruthrauff Road Traffic Interchange Study.
Work on Union Pacific Railroad’s double track effort through Arizona from El Paso to Los Angeles is continuing, with most of the track being laid in Pinal County. However, the railroad’s plans for a larger switch yard near Picacho Peak are now on hold.
Thursday, March 22