The Town of Sahuarita received a Common Ground Award for the Sahuarita Road Improvement Project at Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s (MPA) 10th annual Common Ground Awards ceremony on December 5th, 2014. The MPA’s annual ceremony honors community leaders, projects and events that overcame great obstacles through collaboration.
The MPA recognized Town Mayor Duane Blumberg and Assistant Town Engineer Joel Harris for their successful collaboration for the overall benefit of the community. The Sahuarita Road project realized partnerships from a wide variety of funding partners, local stakeholders, land developers, regional agencies, utility providers, consultants, and contractors. Every partner’s contribution has been significant to the successful outcome of the project and helped achieve an overall common goal that has perpetuated a spirit of cooperation in the community. Many of the successful coordination efforts, meetings, and processes established during the Sahuarita Road improvement project remain in place, continuing to serve as the model for future Town projects. The new roadway has become an expression of collaboration, a true testament of cooperation, and indicative of the spirit of partnering.
As one of the fastest-growing communities in Arizona, with a population increase of nearly 700% in 10 years (between 2000 and 2010), Sahuarita Road was facing challenges. As a primary east-west regional corridor (between Interstate-19 and Interstate-10) the Sahuarita Road improvement project balances the mobility needs of regional traffic with the access needs of local traffic, existing businesses, schools, churches, and residential neighborhoods. Addressing existing conditions as well as anticipating future growth within the Town, was a challenge met in stride by the Town and its regional and local partners.
The project received funding from the May 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) voter-approved half-cent sales tax initiative, Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF), and Town Capital funds. Several creative funding sources were also used, including an Economic Strengths Program Grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority (formerly Arizona Department of Commerce), the incorporation of 2004 Pima County Bond funds for bicycle lanes, a construction cost sharing agreement with Sahuarita Unified School District for the pedestrian underpass that connects Town Hall with the SUSD campus, and funding from the Pima Association of Governments Transportation Art by Youth provided murals and other artistic enhancements within the project limits.