Grant/Oracle citations start Saturday; Corner gets new sculpture - Tucson News Now

Grant/Oracle citations start Saturday; Intersection gets new sculpture

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The warnings will soon come to an end for people who are making old-fashioned left turns off Grant onto Oracle.

It's illegal to make that turn now that Grant and Oracle is an "indirect left" turn intersection.

Tucson police say they will be writing tickets, instead of warnings, starting this Saturday.

Drivers on Grant have to go through the intersection and double back to make a right turn.

As drivers learn a new way to turn at Grant and Oracle, they're seeing something that's turning their heads.

A new sculpture just popped up at the intersection.

It was installed over the weekend.

The piece is by public artists Hank Saxe and Cynthia Patterson.

The two have created works for several western cities.

The Regional Transportation Authority web site has a lot to say about this piece.

There's natural history in it, meaning elegant desert plants that have bold, colorful desert blooms.

There's a tribute to the Pascua Yaqui people.

The flower is meant to remind passersby of the "powerful and mysterious presence" of the culture of the Pascua Yaqui people who live in the area.

There's history too.

The sculpture is supposed to be reminiscent of some of the first boundary markers between the U.S. And Mexico in the 1850's.

By city ordinance, one percent of construction costs must go to the arts.

The City of Tucson says the Grant/Oracle sculpture cost $90,000.

There will be several more pieces installed on Grant as it's widened and more indirect left turns are added all the way to Swan Road.

The sculpture at Grant and Oracle is considered a gateway sculpture welcoming people to the  beginning of the Grant Road Corridor.

"You're coming off the interstate and this where it kind of opens up, it starts our indirect left and it as an entry piece, if you will, into the Grant Corridor and so that was the idea behind it. So it's a significant piece in the whole system. We'll have some more as we go through it, but this is probably--each end will have a fairly significant piece of art in there," says Tucson Department of Transportation Director Daryl Cole.

As for construction at the intersection, final painting, including striping and bicycle safe boxes will be painted on when the asphalt cures.

Curing takes about 30 days.

There'll be a ribbon-cutting at the intersection this Thursday.

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