TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A big step towards keeping Tucson and Pima County's biggest private employer here breaks ground this afternoon.
Raytheon, the fourth largest defense contractor in America, will get a new half mile buffer and a new roadway to insure its future expansion and high tech needs.
It is also designed to protect the 10,000 employees currently employed by Raytheon, most in high paying jobs.
Thanks to the efforts of Pima County in particular, but with the help of many others, the old Hughes Access Road will be torn up and a new roadway called 'The Sonoran Corridor' will take its place but further to the south.
It will link Interstate 19 to Interstate 10 at the University Tech Park.
Among the dignitaries expected at the 3 p.m. groundbreaking are U.S. Senator John McCain, Representatives Democrat Raul Grijalva and Republican Martha McSally, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Raytheon CEO Taylor Lawrence.
Five years ago Raytheon expanded its operations to Huntsville, Alabama, in part because it did not have the room to expand here.
This new roadway will pave the way for future expansion.
It will also link the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, the port in Guaymas in Mexico, the University of Arizona Tech Park and the Port of Tucson.
It's a necessary link along the TransCanadian Highway.
KOLD News 13 will cover the groundbreaking ceremonies and why it is important to the Tucson community at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.