Pima County, Ariz. – Pima County, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority are pleased to announce that the uniquely designed and recently constructed I-19 East Frontage Road from Continental Road to Canoa Road in Green Valley was ranked second on Roads&Bridges magazine’s Top 10 Road Projects in the Unites States for 2011.
The project was ranked ahead of several larger projects due to its complexity and the benefits it provided to the community.
At Continental Road, the proximity of the two-way frontage road to the I-19 off ramp created major safety concerns and delays to drivers. The design team, led by Psomas, analyzed several alternatives for the interchange at Continental Road and ultimately recommended an innovative Braided Ramp solution to address combining the I-19 northbound on and off ramps and the east frontage road into a single intersection with Continental Road.
The frontage road also included two new bridges over washes and the use of a state-of-the-art micropile foundation system for widening the I-19 bridge over Continental Road. The project, completed by Borderland Inc., in February 2011, reduced delays for Green Valley residents from several minutes to a few seconds and significantly improved safety.
“Previous studies had failed to identify a solution to the constraints at the intersection of Continental Road with the I-19’s northbound ramp and the two-way east frontage road,” said Alejandro Angel, Vice President, Transportation/Public Works, at Psomas. “Our approach relied on the ingenuity of our engineers, cooperation from Pima County, ADOT, FHWA, and the valuable input from the Green Valley public to develop a solution that addressed the safety and traffic flow concerns. We believe this braided ramp approach can be successfully implemented at similarly challenging locations across Arizona and in other states.”
“The construction of the Continental Road/I-19 east bound frontage road project only became possible after much review and discussion of the proposed construction sequence,” said Toby Allen, President of Borderland. “With the valuable assistance from the Pima County Department of Transportation, Psomas, ADOT and the Green Valley residents organization, we were able to complete this complicated, multi-phased project with minimal impact to the public. This highly functional and aesthetically pleasing traffic interchange is an accomplishment the entire team should be proud of.”
The frontage road project is one of 35 roadway projects in the $2.1 billion RTA plan approved by voters in May 2006. To date, other roadway project completions include the Twin Peaks Interchange and Road in Marana; Sahuarita Road, from I-19 to La Villita in Sahuarita; the Houghton and Old Vail intersection, a component of the Houghton road project; La Cholla, Ruthrauff to River Road, and La Canada, Ina to Calle Concordia. In total, the RTA has completed 447 projects in the multi-modal plan, including transit, safety, and environmental and economic vitality improvements.
“The new roadway projects not only are functional, they look great,” said RTA Executive Director Gary Hayes. “The frontage road project in Green Valley addressed several challenges and we are pleased with the success of the results and the national recognition this project is receiving.”
“This project was a success only because all of the stakeholders partnered together and used an integrated approach to understand the ultimate goal: to construct the roadway with minimal disturbance to the traveling public, within budget, and completed on time,” said Pima County Director of Transportation Priscilla Cornelio.
The Regional Transportation Authority is the fiscal manager of the $2.1 billion plan approved by Pima County voters on May 16, 2006. The RTA Board is comprised of representatives from local jurisdictions in Pima County, including the cities of Tucson and South Tucson, Pima County, the towns of Marana, Oro Valley, and Sahuarita, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Tohono O’odham Nation. A representative of the Arizona State Transportation Board also serves on the board. For more information about the RTA plan, visit www.RTAmobility.com or call (520) 770-9410.