County Responds to Questions on assisting Raytheon

In an earlier post, I asked Pima County why it favored rerouting Alvernon Way around the Tucson Airport (see map) at a cost of $31 million rather than gain access from the Nogales Highway to land for potential expansion of Raytheon, a major Arizona employer and defense contractor.

Alvernon raytheon

I emailed that question to County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. Here is his response via Maura J. Kwiatkowski, Chief Administrative Assistant to Chuck Huckelberry:

Route continuity or having continuous major thoroughfares that are connected regionally or in metropolitan areas is an important aspect of mobility.

Alvernon north of Interstate 10 connects to the central city and to the Golf Links/Alvernon major transportation corridor along the northwest side of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. It is important to link Alvernon to both the interstate and its north/south component for improved regional access.

In addition, the selected route of Alvernon transitioning into a road running southeast and paralleling Tucson International Airport allows the new road, including Old Vail, to become a major perimeter access road for the airport. Most major metropolitan communities have high-speed transportation access along the perimeter of their international airports; our access to Tucson International is predominantly north/south and needs to be improved such that access to the airport can be gained from the south to the north as well as from the east to the west. Discontinuing continuous routes leads to a great deal of confusion and right and left turn movements that greatly reduce transportation efficiency.

I thank Mr. Huckelberry for responding promptly. See the original post and additional comments here.

Questions on assisting Raytheon

The Arizona Daily Star story today outlines city/county proposals to allow for expansion of Raytheon, a major employer in the area.

The government proposal involves realigning roads (see map below):

Divert South Alvernon Way to the southeast so it will no longer cut across the future location of a third runway for Tucson International that the airport could build 20 to 40 years from now. Alvernon Way would travel to the southeast until it connected to the alignment of South Craycroft Road – where Craycroft would be if it extended that far south. The current alignment of South Alvernon would be closed as would portions of South Swan Road along with Hughes Access. Old Vail would be improved and expanded. Cost: $31 million.

My question is why bother realigning Alvernon? Why not simply abandon it south of Los Reales Road and gain access to the property from the Nogales Highway? Wouldn’t that save money?

I invite the city/county to provide an explanation of why that alternative is not being considered.