If you ride the Santa Cruz River bike and pedestrian path from Tucson to Marana, you no longer have to worry about exiting at Cortaro Road, crossing the bridge and picking up the path on the north side of busy Cortaro Road.
Pima County and the Town of Marana cooperatively funded a Cortaro Road underpass and a 0.75-mile extension of the path that enable users to travel as far as 1.5 miles north of Twin Peaks Road on the west side of the Santa Cruz.
The improvements allow individuals to ride, walk, run or skate five miles north of Ina Road without worrying about vehicle traffic.
Before the underpass was completed, individuals traveling north had to cross from the west side of the Santa Cruz to the east side on the Cortaro Road bridge and then cross at least four lanes of traffic to get on a path continuing north to Twin Peaks Road.
The newly connected multi-use path passes by Marana’s Crossroads at Silverbell District Park – and Pima County’s Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Branch Library – at 7548 N. Silverbell Road, and Wade McLean Neighborhood Park, 8000 N. Silverbell, before it ends at El Rio Neighborhood Park at the northern tip of the Continental Ranch subdivision.
The underpass extends Marana’s connection to The Loop, 55 miles of car-free paths being developed around metropolitan Tucson. When completed, The Loop will connect Rillito River Park, Santa Cruz River Park, Julian Wash Greenway, Harrison Greenway and Pantano River Park – and other parks, trails, bus and bike routes, workplaces, schools, restaurants, hotels and motels, shopping areas, and sports and entertainment venues. It will also link to Oro Valley from the Santa Cruz along Cañada del Oro Wash.
Because of the underpass, pedestrians and cyclists can travel on car-free paths along the Santa Cruz River for more than 18 miles north of 29th Street.
Add the multi-use paths through the Rillito River Park from the Santa Cruz to Craycroft Road and you’ve got 12 more miles of traffic-free riding, running, skating and walking.
Map of the Santa Cruz River Park north of the Rillito
Map of The Loop