Drivers, cyclists and business owners prepare for Phase Two of G - Tucson News Now

Drivers, cyclists and business owners prepare for Phase Two of Grant Road Improvement Project

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: RTA) (Source: RTA)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Work began on the next phase of a project to widen Grant Road in Tucson early Monday, March 20.

Phase Two of the Grant Road Improvement Project stretches just west of Stone Avenue to just east of Park Avenue.

John Hill, who lives near that stretch of Grant Road, said Monday that he's already working out a detour to avoid the area. Phase Two of the construction is scheduled to be finished by the summer of 2018, according to Tucson Department of Transportation. Hill said he can't wait.

"I'm looking forward to Grant being all paved because there are a lot of potholes," he said.

Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in May 2006 to fund the $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) project.

Greg Martinez, who was riding his bike through the parking lot of shopping center on Grant Road, said he's looking forward to protected bike lanes on the busy street. Until then, he'll continue to avoid it.

"I stay off of Grant as much as possible," said Martinez. "Going through it is very difficult and dangerous."

When the whole five-mile project is finished in 2026, it will include widening Grant Road to six lanes with bike lanes, as well as streetscape and pedestrian improvements to create a state-of-the-art, multi-modal transportation corridor.

Construction crews have not made their way to the corner of Grant and Los Altos where Mandarin Grill has served customers for nearly 30 years. Owners David and Winnie Fung said they were surprised when the City of Tucson offered free advice from consultants who work with companies to stay open and profitable during construction projects.

The two said they weren't surprised, though, by the improvement project itself.

"We knew it was coming," said David Fung. "It's been 10 years, so the faster they get it done the better for us and everybody along Grant."

ARTO Sales and Rentals is already experiencing a hit to its sales, according to co-owner Ric Parker. He said people might notice the store now that they're stuck in traffic, but he said it would be better for business if the construction was complete sooner rather than later.

"The more urgency we can put towards it, the better it'll be for all businesses along Grant Road," he said.

Parker said it is a challenge to expect customers to navigate through any construction on Grant Road when he doesn't even take it himself to get to work. He said he was less enthused about the free consultation provided by the city.

"That was a great thought but it's pennies on the dollar to me," said Parker. "It didn't really have a big impact whereas the traffic is going to have a big impact."

For more information about the project, click HERE: http://bit.ly/2nVBBfx

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