Pima County acquires 615 acres for flood control, transportation and recreationby Pima County News on Dec. 12, 2012, under Board of Supervisors, Parks & Recreation, Pima County, Regional Flood Control District, Southern Arizona, Tucson
The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday the purchase of 615 acres of open space from CalPortland for everything from new roads to bicycle trails to possible athletic fields. The property, at the confluence of the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers and Cañada del Oro Wash, is part of the County’s planned Corazón de los Tres Ríos del Norte regional flood control and recreation project. The purchase price is approximately $4.2 million including closing costs.
The property is located between Silverbell Road and Interstate 10 with Orange Grove Road on the north boundary, and Curtis Street on the south boundary. Pima County will use the land to extend the connections of Sunset Road from Silverbell Road to River Road. In addition, Silverbell Road will be improved where it passes through this newly acquired property.
With the purchase of this property, Pima County Regional Flood Control District (RFCD) will control the entire Santa Cruz River corridor in this area. RFCD will install bank protection along the Santa Cruz and develop recharge basins to provide water recharge credits to the County.
RFCD Director Suzanne Shields explains, “The Santa Cruz confluence with the Rillito River and Cañada del Oro Wash is a significant location for water resources management and flood control.” At this convergence of three major watercourses, the floods of 1983, 1993, and 2006 had a major impact.
Numerous passive recreational uses have been proposed on this property including athletic fields, dog park, BMX park, competition-level mountain bike park, and model airplane park. In addition, residents will be able to reach the area by walking or biking on the improved Loop multi-use path that passes through the project area. In 2010, the Pima County Bond Committee approved $10 million for improvements to the Corazón area. This is subject to voter approval in the next bond election.
CalPortland will retain the north parcel near the I-10 exit to Orange Grove Road. This property is zoned for commercial use and should be very valuable for future development, due to easy access from the freeway.
“This is a true multi-use property,” says Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Sharon Bronson. “Flood control is paramount; and this purchase allows us to begin the ecosystem restoration of Corazón de los Tres Ríos del Norte. The additional recreational, transportation and water recharge uses create long-term value for the County.”
The County will save money by using sand and gravel from existing CalPortland operations to close the nearby Ina Road Landfill. Because of reduced transportation costs, the estimated savings is at least $3.1 million.
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