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  • Groundbreaking for Pantano River Park project is Sept. 17

    Sep 09, 2016 | Read More News
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    On Saturday, Sept. 17, Pima County officials will break ground on a wash bank protection project. The bank protection will also serve as an extension of The Loop. The ceremony takes place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the southeast corner of Glenn Street and Sahuara Avenue.
    Pantano River Park
    Several dignitaries will speak at the event, including District 2 Supervisor Ramón Valadez, Ward 2 Tucson City Council Member Paul Cunningham, Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos and Pima County Regional Flood Control District Director and Chief Engineer Suzanne Shields. The first 50 children age 5-15 will receive free BMX bicycle helmets. Bike bells, bike safety information and Loop maps and bookmarks also will be available at the event.

    The groundbreaking marks the beginning of improvements for the Pantano Wash Bank Protection and River Park between Fort Lowell Park and Tanque Verde Road. The work will provide flood and erosion protection for the commercial businesses along Grant Road and for residences along the west bank. Existing bank protection along the east bank of the Pantano Wash will be extended 1,300 linear feet downstream and provide flood protection to homes immediately adjacent to the Pantano Wash in the Tucson Country Club area. 

    Project benefits include 1.5 miles of new soil cement bank protection and 1.9 miles of paved pathways, a paved parking area, an equestrian parking area, a pedestrian bridge, public art, a scenic viewing area, an in-channel grade control structure and an access ramp into the wash. The access ramp has the dual purpose of facilitating access to the wash for County workers who inspect and maintain the wash and providing equestrian access to the river park. Public access to the river park will be available at Fort Lowell Park and at several locations between the park and Tanque Verde Road.

    The $8.1 million project is funded by the Pima County Flood Control Property Tax Levy. Construction will begin in early October and is projected to take approximately 13 months to complete. Weather conditions or unforeseen complications could affect the timeline. 

    Several Pima County departments and the City of Tucson have been involved in the project. The project design team is led by Psomas, with McGann and Associates, Ecoplan, Structural Concepts and RECON as sub-consultants. Borderland Construction is the prime construction contractor. Nearby property owners and other public groups with special interest in the area provided feedback to the project’s planners. Public artists are Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock of Creative Machines, Inc. 

    For more information on the project or for event details, contact Laura Hagen Fairbanks at Laura.Fairbanks@pima.gov, 724-4608.

    Directions: The groundbreaking will be held at the southeast corner of Glenn Street and Sahuara Avenue. Sahuara runs north/south and is about a half mile east of Craycroft Road.

    For sale! As part of the county's continuing "Species in Spandex" series, jerseys featuring the endangered Leopard Frog will be on sale at the event for $50. For more information on jersey sales, contact Valerie Samoy, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, at valerie.samoy@pima.gov, 724-5220.

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